The tourism industry in Singapore has shown signs of a recovery during the first half of 2016, thanks to an influx of visitors from Mainland China. The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) recently released data which reported that 8.17 million tourists travelled to Singapore during the first six months of this year. This was a growth of 12.5 percent when compared to the same period in 2015.
Singapore’s tourism market was hit in 2015 after there was a drop in visitors from Mainland China. In the first half of 2016, Singapore saw as many as 1.47 million visitors from the mainland, which was an increase of 55.2 percent year on year. This meant that Mainland China accounted for nearly 18 percent of the tourist aggregate to Singapore, giving it the status of being Singapore’s biggest single source market for tourists. Indonesia came in second place and India took the third spot.
Singapore’s tourism industry recorded strong growth back in 2013 when tourist numbers peaked to 15.6 million. Those numbers declined to 15.1 million in 2014 and 15.2 million in 2015 as visitors from Mainland China also dropped. However, the STB is expecting tourism numbers to go up once again in 2016 and estimates that Singapore could register 15.7 million visitors by December 2016, which will be a growth of 3 percent based on a year on year comparison.
The STB also released data for the tourism sector performance during the first half of 2016. The data revealed that tourist spending increased by 2 percent during the first quarter of 2016 when compared to the same period in 2015. Tourism receipts accounted for S$5.4 billion (US$3.96 billion) in spending which was spread across restaurants, accommodation, and shopping. STB stated that spending in these three sectors went up significantly and helped compensate for the decline in gaming, entertainment, and sightseeing (GES) revenues.
The decline in these three sectors was attributed mainly to the drop in revenue from gaming revenue in Singapore’s integrated casino resorts. Genting Singapore Plc operates Resorts World Sentosa and the Las Vegas Sands Corp runs the Marina Bay Sands. The STB stated that GES revenues dropped by 21 percent in the first three months to S$1.08 billion.
Visitors from Mainland China also turned out to be the biggest spenders during the first quarter of the year, spending $790 million. This amount did not include expenditure made on the GES markets. Indonesians spent the second highest amount while Indians spend the third highest.