SingaporeInternational arrivals up 1% at island state, but visitors spending less amid global economic uncertainty

Singapore’s Q1 tourism receipts fall 4.8%

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International arrivals in Singapore in the first quarter of 2019 went up by 1% to 4.7 million as compared to the same period last year. Photo Credit: Pixelbay

Despite an uptick in international arrivals, visitors to Singapore are spending less, according to latest tourism figures.

The Business Times reported that spending by visitors to Singapore fell 4.8% to S$6.5 billion (US$4.7 billion) in the first quarter of 2019 as compared to the same period last year. The silver lining, though, is that international arrivals went up by 1% to 4.7 million.

The reason behind the slide is that visitors may have been more conscious about spending due to uncertainties in the global economy, said Singapore Tourism Board (STB) director of digital transformation Poh Chi Chuan.

The uncertainties eroding confidence include US-China trade tensions, Brexit, and currency fluctuations against the Singapore dollar, he told The Business Times.

Data showed that tourism receipts fell in several markets such as China (-1%), India (-6%), the United Kingdom (-4%), Malaysia (-34%) and the Philippines (-18%).

China remained STB’s top market when it came to tourism receipts, contributing S$1.09 billion. Next is Indonesia at S$732 million and India at S$338 million.

STB, though, saw growth in four of its top 10 markets – namely Indonesia, Japan, the United States and South Korea.

The US saw a 15% rise in tourism receipts, and a 9% rise in visitor arrivals in the first quarter, driven by the business travel and meetings, incentive travel, conventions and exhibitions (BTMICE) segment.

China topped international visitor arrivals in Singapore for the first quarter, up 3% year-on-year to 960,000 visitors. Next was Indonesia, whose number of visitors fell 3% year-on-year to 725,000; followed by India, which rose 2%to 300,000 from a year ago.

STB told The Business Times it would continue marketing efforts in tier two cities of key source markets, and sourcing of other markets with good growth potential.

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