Singapore tops 17 million


SINGAPORE, 12 February 2018 – Both tourism receipts and visitor arrivals for 2017 reached record highs for the second time in two years.

Visitor arrivals increased by 6.2% to 17.4 million, with 13 of the top 15 markets showing growth.

Tourism receipts rose by 3.9% to SGD26.8 billion[1], due primarily to growth in visitor arrivals across all top 10 markets[2].

There was also higher visitor arrivals from high-spend markets such as China, South Korea, United States (US) and United Kingdom (UK).

Singapore Tourism Board chief executive, Lionel Yeo said: ” The combined efforts of STB and our industry partners yielded strong results, against a context of better-than-expected global economic recovery, continued growth in Asia-Pacific travel and increased flight and cruise connectivity to Singapore.”

Market Highlights

Tourism receipts (YTD 3Q2017) for January to September 2017, grew strongly across most of Singapore’s top 10 markets.

China (+10%), US (+22%) and UK (+24%) registered the highest year-on-year absolute growth in tourism receipts excluding sightseeing, entertainment and gaming.

China also emerged top in tourism receipts for the third consecutive year. Growth in tourism receipts from China and UK was attributed to an increase in leisure visitors and higher spend on shopping.

For the US, it was due to more BTMICE[3] visitor arrivals and higher spend on shopping.

Declines in tourism receipts were posted by Indonesia (-7%), India (-1%) and Japan (-9%), mostly because of fewer BTMICE visitor arrivals. In the case of India and Japan, this was coupled with BTMICE visitors spending less as well.

International Visitor Arrivals (2017)

Thirteen out of Singapore’s top 15 markets registered growth in 2017, with seven of them – China, India, Vietnam, Philippines, US, UK and Germany – also hitting record visitor arrivals.

The top three largest markets for visitor arrivals were China, Indonesia, and India. Notably, India (+16%) saw the highest growth rate and, together with China (+13%), contributed to the bulk of the growth in visitor arrivals.

Another highlight market for the year was Vietnam (+13%), which became a top 10 market for the first time.

Declines in visitor arrivals were posted by Thailand (-3%) and Hong Kong SAR (-13%).

Commenting on the strong growth in visitor arrivals for 2017, particularly from US, World Express Group managing director, Darren Tan said: “We saw an over 15% year-on-year growth in our US arrivals in 2017, with most of the growth coming during the year-end winter season. We see mainly two types of clients – those here on fly/cruise programmes and leisure travellers who came here on tour groups or for individual travel.”

BTMICE Industry Performance (YTD 3Q2017)

For the first nine months of 2017, TRexSEG from the Business Travel and Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conventions and Exhibitions (BTMICE) industry grew by 4% to SGD3.15 billion compared to the same period in 2016.  This was due to BTMICE visitors spending more on accommodation, shopping and other tourism receipt components, which helped to offset the dip of 5% in BTMICE visitor arrivals to 1.75 million.

Hotel Industry Performance

Total gazetted room revenue rose by 3.9%  to reach SGD3.70 billion in 2017 and hotel occupancy rose by 1.5 percentage points. As at end-December 2017, the total number of hotels in Singapore stood at 420, including 22 new ones that opened in the year. Total supply of rooms expanded by 5% to 67,084.

Cruise Industry Performance

The cruise industry has been growing from strength to strength.  In 2017, passenger throughput increased by 17% to 1.38 million, a record high. Total number of ship calls also rose by 3% to reach 421, of which 16 were maiden calls.

[1] Preliminary estimate for full year 2017.

[2] For 2017, the top 10 visitor arrival markets were China, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Australia, Japan, Philippines, South Korea, US and Vietnam.

[3] Business Travel and Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conventions and Exhibitions.