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Singapore: Mixed tourism sector performance in 2015

Staff writer |
Last year, visitor arrivals in Singapore grew by 0.9% to 15.2 million and tourism receipts declined by 6.8% to S$22 billion.




The fall in tourism receipts was largely due to a decline in BTMICE visitor arrivals and spending. This mixed performance came on the back of various headwinds such as an uncertain global economic outlook and weak currencies in some of Singapore's top source markets in 2015.

Singapore Tourism Board (STB) Chief Executive Lionel Yeo said, "We are encouraged by the upturn in visitor arrivals from May onwards that led to a positive growth for the whole of 2015.

"Of particular note is the 2 percent growth in leisure visitor arrivals in 2015, which helped offset the decline in BTMICE visitor arrivals. This shows that Singapore remains attractive as a leisure destination." ​

"As the average BTMICE visitor spends about two times more than the average leisure visitor, the fall in BTMICE visitor arrivals and spending due to companies cutting back on both travel and trip budgets has had a significant impact on our tourism receipts," added Yeo.

The top growth-markets for 2015 tourism receipts were Japan (+6%) and United Kingdom (+4%). Tourism receipts from Japan rose due to greater BTMICE traffic, while more leisure visitors from UK who also spent more helped to boost tourism receipts.

The decline in tourism receipts was most keenly felt in Indonesia (-21%), Australia (-10%) and Malaysia (-26%) markets. These markets had faced economic challenges and seen their currencies depreciated against the Singapore dollar. Consequently, there were fewer visitor arrivals and less spending from these markets.

The top growth-markets for 2015 visitor arrivals were China (+22%), India (+7%), South Korea (+7%) and Taiwan (+12%). Notably, there were more visitor arrivals from both tier 1 and secondary cities in China and India, where STB had intensified its marketing and channel development efforts.

The largest declines were posted by Indonesia (-10%), Malaysia (-5%), Australia (-3%) and Japan (-4%) markets where macroeconomic factors including currency depreciation and an uncertain economic outlook had dampened outbound travel sentiments.


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