SINGAPORE, 27 January 2022: Singapore’s international visitor arrivals reached 330,000 and tourism receipts an estimated SGD1.9 billion in 2021.
While these numbers represent only a fraction of Singapore’s tourism performance before the pandemic, there have been encouraging signs of recovery in the tourism sector, with year-on-year growth in the last three quarters of 2021.
The introduction of various travel arrangements, such as Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTLs), has encouraged the gradual return of international travellers. Domestic consumption has also been strong, as the tourism sector pivoted to develop new and innovative experiences for locals.
Singapore Tourism Board chief executive Keith Tan said: “While it will take time for tourism numbers to return to pre-pandemic levels, we are encouraged by the resilience of our tourism businesses and their commitment to preserving good jobs, transforming their businesses, and investing in new products and experiences. These efforts will strengthen Singapore’s appeal as we prepare to welcome more international visitors.
“We must anticipate setbacks and challenges even as the tourism industry recovers slowly. But I am confident that the tourism industry has learnt from its experiences and is poised to recapture demand when it returns.”
2021 Tourism Performance
Singapore’s tourism sector recorded overall year-on-year declines in IVA and TR, largely due to the effect of strong tourism performance in the first two months of 2020. International visitor arrivals increased 221% in the last three quarters of 2021, compared to the same period in 2020. TR for the second and third quarters of 2021 is 92% higher than the same period in 2020.
Between January and December 2021, 330,000 international visitors arrived in Singapore. China (88,000), India (54,000) and Indonesia (33,000) were the top three visitor source markets in 2021.
Between January and September 202, tourism receipts reached SGD1.2 billion. Visitors from China, Indonesia and India, contributed SGD432 million, SGD127 million and SGD58 million in tourism receipts (excluding sightseeing, entertainment and gaming).
Stimulating Domestic Consumption
During this period, the tourism sector adapted to focus on domestic tourism, supported by STB initiatives such as the SingapoRediscovers campaign and the SingapoRediscovers Vouchers (SRV) scheme, which were both launched in 2020, as well as a range of new partnerships.
By the end of the SRV scheme on 31 December 2021, about 1.9 million Singaporeans had used their vouchers at least once, making about 2.6 million transactions. Close to SGD300 million in SRV transactions were recorded, comprising close to SGD180 million in vouchers and about SGD120 million in out-of-pocket payments for SRV bookings.
Hotels Industry Performance
In 2021, several new hotels with unique lifestyle concepts opened in Singapore, such as The Clan, Maxwell Reserve and Oasia Resort Sentosa. These additions complement existing hotels that used this period to refresh or rebrand their properties, such as Hilton Singapore (reopening as voco Orchard Singapore in 2022) and Mandarin Orchard (reopening as Hilton Singapore Orchard in 2022).
From January to December 2021, Singapore’s hotel industry registered an Average Occupancy Rate (AOR) of 56.2% t. This is a slight decrease of 1.1 percentage points compared to the previous year when AOR was reinforced by strong tourism performance in the first two months of 2020. Average Room Rate increased slightly by 2.7% to SGD158, while Revenue per Available Room held steady at SGD89.
Cruise Industry Performance
The cruise industry rebounded strongly following the start of “cruises-to-nowhere” in late 2020. Since then, Singapore’s cruise industry has seen over 400,000 domestic passengers set sail on close to 300 cruise sailings.
With the implementation of STB’s CruiseSafe certification programme and strong support from both Dream Cruises and Royal Caribbean International, there have been no COVID-19 clusters on board the two cruise ships to date.
STB will continue to ramp up efforts in our key source markets and deepen engagements with our tourism partners to capture growth and inspire travel to Singapore.
For example, STB will work with Singapore Airlines and the Changi Airport Group on the “Welcome Back to Singapore” campaign to instil travel confidence among international travellers. The campaign was launched in Germany and India after VTLs were established with these two markets. It will be progressively launched in more markets, including Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and South Korea.
For more details, check out the STB Year in Review 2021