Singapore visits pass 18 million

SINGAPORE, 15 February 2019: Singapore declared positive trends in its 2018 tourism review with 14 of its top 15 source market delivering growth in tourist arrivals.

Released Wednesday, the Singapore Tourism Board review of 2018 noted the year closed with visitor arrivals reaching 18.5 million up 6.2%

Fourteen out of Singapore’s top 15 markets registered growth in 2018 with seven – China, India, Philippines, UK, USA, Vietnam, and Germany – hitting record-high visitor arrivals.

China (6%), Indonesia (2%) and India (13%) continued to be the top three contributing markets for visitor arrivals to Singapore.

For China and India, there was growth from both tier one and tier two cities [1], due to strong travel demand and increased flight connectivity.

In particular, cruise arrivals from India spiked 27% as more Indian travellers took up new cruise offerings.

The core tourism industries of business travel and events (BTMICE) hotels, and cruise all posted strong results.

Tourism receipts

But tourism receipts registered just a marginal increase of 1% to reach SGD27.1 billion [2].

Although growth in visitor arrivals was evident in almost all of the top 15 markets [3], higher visitor spending was registered in just the top five tourism receipt markets [4].

Tourist spend grew 1% ending a stagnant performance in 2017, but the bottom line improvement was slowed by declines in shopping (-14%), accommodation (-5%) and food & beverage (-4%).

These were partially offset by growth in sightseeing, entertainment & gaming (6%) and other sources of tourism revenue (21%) [5].

In the category ‘other tourism receipt components’, airfare revenue rose on the back of more visitor arrivals via local-based carriers. Business travel and event-related spending also increased.

Hotel performance

Singapore’s hotel industry continued to do well in 2018, with all indicators registering growth. Total gazetted room revenue rose by 7.4 % to reach SGD4 billion in 2018, while hotel occupancy rose by 1.2 percentage points to 86%. Average room rate increased 0.9% year-on-year to SGD219 while revenue per available room increased 2.4 per cent to reach SGD189 in 2018.

Cruise performance

2018 was a strong year for the cruise industry, with total passenger throughput at a high of 1.87 million – a 35% increase from 2017.

2019 Outlook and Forecast

For 2019, STB forecasts tourism receipts to be in the range of SGD27.3 to SGD27.9 billion (+1 to +3%) and international visitor arrivals to be in the range of 18.7 to 19.2 million (+1 to +4%).

Headwinds are expected in the year ahead, due to the volatility of the global political and economic environment and stiffer regional competition.

(Source: STB)

[1] For China, tier one cities include Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Shanghai and Shenzhen. Tier two Chinese cities include Changsha, Chongqing, Fuzhou, Haikou, Jinan, Kunming, Nanjing, Nanning, Ningbo, Qingdao, Shenyang, Tianjin, Wuhan, Xi’an, Xiamen and Zhengzhou.

For India, tier one cities include Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Gurgaon and Mumbai.

Tier two Indian cities include Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Calcutta, Chandigarh, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Jaipur, Kochi, Madurai, Pune, Thiruvananthapuram, Tiruchirapally and Visakhapatnam.

[2] Preliminary estimate for full-year 2018.

[3] For 2018, the top 15 visitor arrival markets were China, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Australia, Japan, Philippines, USA, South Korea, Vietnam, United Kingdom, Thailand, Hong Kong SAR, Taiwan and Germany.

[4] For 2018, the top five tourism receipts markets were China, Indonesia, India, Australia and Japan.

[5] Other TR components include expenditure on airfares on Singapore-based carriers, port taxes, local transportation, business, medical, education and transit visitors.