SingaporeVisitors arrivals in 2018 look to hit an estimated 18.1 million, but tourism receipts reveal decline in shopping and F&B.

ATF 2019: Singapore remains well-touristed, despite slowing spend

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ATF Singapore Oliver Chong STB - ATF 2019
Oliver Chong, executive director, communications and marketing capability, Singapore Tourism Board, speaking at ASEAN Tourism Forum 2019.
ATF Singapore Oliver Chong STB - ATF 2019

Shopping, a major component of tourism receipts, posted a 15% decline at S$2.72 billion, while food and beverage spending also declined by 13% to S$1.23 billion. 

Even as tourist arrivals to Singapore continue to climb, the city’s allure as a shopping paradise may be showing signs of slowing, according to recent figures from Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

From January to November last year, arrivals posted a 6.6% increase to 16.9 million. 

But indicators on tourism spend for the first half of 2018 show that receipts have stagnated at S$13.4 billion (US$9.85 billion), a decline that likely could be attributed to the “global trend of shrinking retail and shopping spend” and changes in travel behaviour, revealed STB’s executive director, communications and marketing capability, Oliver Chong at ASEAN Tourism Forum in Vietnam.

Shopping, a major component of tourism receipts, posted a 15% decline at S$2.72 billion, while food and beverage spending also declined by 13% to S$1.23 billion. 

Still, this could be but a small bump in what looks to be a successful year for Singapore. The overall forecast expect arrivals to grow between 1-4% to 17.6-18.1 million. Tourist receipts are expected to pick up by 1-3%, estimated at about S$27.1-27.6 billion. 

Figures from January to November show that China continues to dominate as the top source for visitor arrivals at 3.18 million (+6.5%), followed by Indonesia with 2.7 million (+2.8%) and India with 1.32 million (+14.4%).

Cruise tourism also remains a bright spot for Singapore, recording double-digit growth since 2015. In 2017, passenger numbers hit a record-high of  1.38 million, a 17% rise compared to the year before.

The accommodations sector also posted increases in occupancy and revenue, owing to several large-scale events that arrived last year. Average occupancy rose to 86.5%, a 1.2% growth, while the revenue per available room rise by 2.3% to S$189.30. 

Several new developments and attractions that are expected to open doors this year include Jewel at Changi Airport, a new retail and lifestyle development connected to the airport’s Terminal 1, and Design Orchard, a new fashion and lifestyle development that will house over 60 local designers. 


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