As government leaders at the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2007 discuss ways to boost tourism growth and sustain high intra-ASEAN
tourist traffic, Global Refund today revealed that ASEAN tourists alone have
contributed close to 50% of total tourist spending in Singapore over the last three years.
“ASEAN as a whole has experienced escalating economic growth in recent years and as a group, experienced a high growth of
5.5% in 2005 . This growth has in turn led to a higher rate of travel from ASEAN tourists due to increased affluence amongst
its people,” said Rodney Teo, Managing Director of Global Refund Singapore.
“Coupled with the advent of regional low cost carriers, this has led to an increase in visitors from neighbouring states into
Singapore as she presents a nearby option to experience shopping and leisure in an East-meets-West dynamic city. As shopping
is always an integral part of tourists’ itineraries when in Singapore, we have also witnessed an overall increase in ASEAN tourists’
expenditure,” Mr Teo added.
According to Global Refund Singapore, top spender nation, Indonesia, led the pack accounting for 25% of total tourist
spend over the last three years. Tied in second place are visitors from Malaysia and Thailand, contributing approximately
4% each to total tourist spend in 2006.
Data from Global Refund also shows that these top three ASEAN spenders tend to fulfil their desire for luxury goods when in the
Lion City. For instance, more than half of Malaysians’ total shopping expenses over the last three years have gone on watches
and jewellery. Indonesians on the other hand, spent more than a quarter of their total expenditure on fashion and clothing.
“Countries in the region are currently working towards positioning ASEAN as a cruise destination and establishing full open sky
agreements for the region. Analysing current data against this backdrop suggests that Singapore can expect ASEAN tourists’
expenditure here to increase consistently annually” Rodney concluded.
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