Steady tourism growth for Singapore

SINGAPORE, 6 July 2017: Following a positive performance in 2016, tourist arrivals to Singapore improved 4.4% during the first four months of 2017 to reach 5.79 million.

In 2016, tourist arrivals grew 8% to 16.4 million and tourism receipts by 13% to SGD24.6 billion.

Preliminary figures, released by the Singapore Tourism Board last week, indicated that of the 5.79 million arrivals January to April, 1.1 million visits came from China.

China is the top source market for Singapore, a market that has a considerable higher daily spend than witnessed by neighbours Malaysia and Thailand.

Indonesia is now Singapore’s second largest market with 968,000 tourist arrival, representing an 8.3% improvement during the first four months of the year.

In its explanation of its latest marketing strategy, STB said it “reached out to its top  source markets, continuing its marketing efforts in the tier 1 cities and at the same time expanding into tier 2 cities in these source markets. ”

STB has also inked memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with China’s online travel services and social review sites in China such as tech giant Tencent.

The only downside for Singapore at present is the strengthening of the dollar that raises the cost of tours, accommodation, shopping and dining in the city state, by 5 to 10%. (comparisons with Thai baht)

Singapore’s hotels saw room revenue slide 2% year-on-year to about SGD1.06 billion for the first four months of this year.

Average room rates (ARR) dipped 2.3% to about SGD233, with upscale (-4.6%) and mid-tier hotels (-4.1%) suffering the biggest declines.

Luxury hotels improved their rates 5.2%. Average occupancy for the luxury sector inched down a marginal 0.6 percentage point to 85.3% in the first four months of the year. Average occupancy rate strengthened one percentage point to 85.6% across Singapore’s hotel industry.

At the end-2016, Singapore had 413 hotels with 63,850 rooms.

This year, Singapore targets tourist arrivals to grow by a maximum 2% up from 16.4 million last year – and an increase in tourism receipts of a maximum 4%.