International visitor arrivals to Singapore declined in 2014 – the country’s first year-on-year drop since 2009.
According to the latest data from the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), the country welcomed 15.09 million visitors last year, 3.1% fewer than in 2013.
This was mainly due to declining arrivals from China, Malaysia and Indonesia – three of the country’s largest source markets. The number of visitors from Malaysia fell 3.8% to 1.23m in 2014, while Indonesian arrivals dropped 2.1% to 3.02m.
Chinese arrivals to Singapore slumped 24.2% last year, to 1.72m, while visitors from Australia fell 4.5% to 1.07m. But the number of visitors from Europe increased 1.6% to 1.62m.
Lionel Yeo, CEO of STB, said he was not too concerned about the results.
“A number of the headwinds are external and macroeconomic in nature. So one takes, for example, the uncertain global economic recovery – that is going to put a question mark on global outbound travel. But fundamentally, the health of the tourism sector is still good,” Yeo was quoted saying by Channel NewsAsia.
Despite the decline in arrivals, Singapore’s tourism revenues remained steady at SG$23.5 billion (US$17.3bn).