Fall in business travel drags tourism receipts to first decline since 2009
Tourists take photos by the famous Merlion fountain in Singapore July 29, 2015. Reuters

Even though the south-east Asian country has ranked as least exciting cities among others from all around the world in the Time Out's City Life Index 2018, Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has announced on Monday that visitor arrivals and tourism recipient for 2017 have made a record for the second time in two years.

The tourist visit rate has increased by 6.2 percent to 17.4m. STB also said that China, Indonesia and India has become top three largest markets for visitors to Singapore.

On the other hand, compared to 2016, arrivals for Business Travel and Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conventions and Exhibitions for first three quarters of 2017 has dropped by five percent to 1.75m.

In terms of the cruise industry, the also made a record as the arrivals have increased by 17 percent to 1.38m.

Even the tourism receipt rose by 3.9 percent to S$26.8b, which happened because of the arrivals from top 10 growing markets, including high-spending markets such as China, South Korea, the United States and the United Kingdom.

STB also said that the growth in tourism receipts from China and UK happened due to an increase in leisure visitors and a higher spend on shopping. Even tourists from the US also registered a higher spend on shopping but were mostly in Singapore.

According to reports, Lionel Yeo, chief executive of STB said that the tourism board was pleased to report a second consecutive year of record tourist arrival. He mentioned that it was a result of the joint effort provided by STB and its industry partners.

Sightseeing, Entertainment & Gaming (TRexSEG) from the BTMICE industry grew by 4 percent to S$3.15b, because visitors of BTMICE had spent more on accommodation, shopping and other TR components.

Even the hotel occupancy rose by 1.5 percentage points, including gazetted room revenue which grew by 3.9 percent to reach S$3.7b.