Singapore’s tourism industry rebounded strongly in 2016, with international visitor arrivals and tourism revenues reaching record levels.
Following a weak 2015, Singapore shrugged off a series of challenges – including the Zika virus – to draw a record 16.4 million international visitors and SG$24.8 billion (US$17.4bn) in tourism revenues in 2016, up 7.7% and 13.9% respectively.
The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said that the strong revenues were the result of higher visitor spending on accommodation, shopping and F&B.
“We are heartened by the strong tourism sector performance in 2016. Despite challenges such as weaker economic performance in some of Singapore’s top source markets and a Zika virus outbreak, Singapore has managed to attract more quality visitors to contribute to economic growth,” said STB chief executive, Lionel Yeo.
Reflecting the strength of intra-regional travel, arrivals from other Asian countries accounted for 77.7% of the annual total. Indonesia (2.89m) was the largest source market, followed by mainland China (2.86m), Malaysia (1.15m), India (1.10m) and Australia (1.03m). These were the only source markets that exceeded one million arrivals.
The growth was led by a resurgent Chinese market, which increased 36% year-on-year, while India’s growth rate of 8.2% allowed it to overtake Australia (-1.6%) to become Singapore’s fourth largest source market. China (+41%) and India (+37%) also drove the increase in tourism revenues.
The largest decline in visitor arrivals was from Hong Kong (-11.8%), which was largely attributed to its weaker economic performance, while Malaysia (-1.7%) saw a slight decline due to the depreciating ringgit.
The country’s major long-haul markets performed well however, with arrivals from the US (+3.4% to 516,276), UK (+3.2% to 489,205) and Germany (+14.7% to 328,762) all increasing.
Singapore’s top visitor source markets
1) Indonesia – 2,893,614
2) China – 2,863,582
3) Malaysia – 1,151,480
4) India – 1,097,186
5) Australia – 1,027,309