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Record Tourism Receipts for Singapore in 2008

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Singapore’s tourism sector generated an estimated Sin$14.8 billion in tourism receipts (TR) in 2008. This represents a growth of 5% over 2007 and sets a new record for Singapore, despite the impact of the global economic slowdown in the second half of the year.

In terms of visitor arrivals, Singapore welcomed an estimated 10.1 million visitors in 2008, a decline of 2% against 2007. Total visitor days grew 6.9% to reach 39.8 million days in 2008.

Commenting on the performance, Singapore Tourism Board’s Chief Executive, Ms Aw Kah Peng said, “Singapore’s tourism sector turned in a credible and robust performance in 2008 despite the dramatic turn in the global economy in the second half of the year. With the unwavering support of our industry partners, we were able to achieve record tourism receipts and will continue with our long term strategy to increase visitor spending.”

Factors that contributed to the tourism sector’s performance in 2008 included Singapore’s growing attractiveness as a destination withmany exciting tourism products, more competitive air travel options and greater accessibility to Singapore, as well as STB’s global marketing efforts.

The top five markets for 2008 were Indonesia (1,730,000), P.R. China (1,080,000), Australia (820,000), India (770,000) and Malaysia (650,000), which accounted for about 50% of total visitor arrivals.

Based on January to November 2008 figures, Singapore’s hotel  sector performance has remained robust. Compared to the same  period in 2007, the Average Room Rate increased by 23.5% to reach Sin$248, Revenue Per Available Room grew by 15.4% to reach Sin$203, total hotel room revenue rose 14.1% to reach Sin$1.9 billion and the Average Occupancy Rate (AOR) decreased by 5.7 percentage to reach 82%. The fall in AOR was driven partly by new hotel rooms coming on stream and, in recent months, by the decline in visitor arrivals. Updated hotel sector statistics for 2008 will be made available towards end-January 2009, after hotels have submitted their data for December 2008.

“The success of inaugural milestone events such as Singapore Airshow, Singapore International Water Week and the 2008 FORMULA 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix last year truly marked a turning point for Singapore as a destination. The world now sees Singapore in a new light. While we have reinforced our strong reputation as a city for business, we have also injected a fresh sense of excitement through the delivery of world-class events that are uniquely Singapore,” Ms Aw added.

Annual signature events, such as the Great Singapore Sale, Christmas in the Tropics, and ZoukOut, as well as over 6,000 business events, including Biomedical Asia and the inaugural ITB Asia, also added to the year’s success in showcasing the Singapore brand as one that continues to attract a strong showing of both international and regional visitors.

The Singapore Government has already started to respond to the global economic situation. Amongst other measures, a number of schemes have been launched to provide financial assistance, subsidise capability development and implement cost-cutting measures to help businesses ride out the slowdown.

In addition, the Government has worked with industry partners and unions to organise a series of forums to help Singapore businesses address manpower issues and create awareness of the assistance schemes relevant to them. Briefings have been conducted for tourism-related sectors like the hotel and food and beverage industries, and there will be upcoming forums for the retail, attractions and travel services, and MICE (Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conventions & Exhibitions) industries.

Working with the tourism industry, the STB is also developing a global marketing campaign to drive visitors to Singapore, with a particular emphasis on regional markets.

“We believe visitors will still need to and want to travel, whether for leisure or business. But no doubt they will be more cost-conscious and will want to get more out of every trip. So STB has to work hand in hand with the industry to ensure Singapore remains a destination of choice, and one that both creates and delivers,” said Ms Aw.

See other recent news regarding: Airlines, Aviation, Flights, Hotels, Promotions, New Hotels, December 2008, Singapore, Visitor Arrivals

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