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Mon, 5 February 2024

Singapore Welcomed 13.6 Million Visitor Arrivals in 2023; Targets 15-16 Million in 2024

(05/02/24)  According to the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), the country welcomed 13.6 million international visitor arrivals (IVA) in 2023, approximately 71% of the number of arrivals in 2019 - pre-COVID, and within STB’s forecast of between 12 and 14 million visitors.

Preliminary data shows that tourism receipts (TR) reached between SG$24.5 to $26 billion, around 88-94% of the amount in 2019 and surpassing the board’s forecast of between SG$18 to SG$21 billion.

“The robust performance in 2023 signals a promising recovery for tourism, in line with increasing flight capacity and growth in international travel demand,” said Melissa Ow, Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board (STB). “Our strategy to attract a healthy and diverse visitor portfolio, comprising long and short haul markets, has significantly contributed to our overall visitor arrivals, longer length of stay and growth in tourism receipts. Singapore’s thriving pipeline of business and leisure offerings demonstrates our continued appeal as an attractive and trusted tourism destination, and reflects the unwavering confidence our partners have in Singapore.”

Visitor arrivals were driven by strong demand from a mix of Singapore’s key markets, led by Indonesia (2.3 million), China (1.4 million) and Malaysia (1.1 million). Other key markets that posted buoyant recovery included Australia, South Korea and USA.

Singapore. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.
Singapore. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com

Tourism receipts reached $20.1 billion between January to September 2023, with TR across all spend categories having either exceeded or recovered close to pre-pandemic levels, compared with the same period in 2019.

For the first nine months of 2023, the top TR generating markets were China, Indonesia and Australia, which contributed $2.3 billion, $2.2 billion, and $1.5 billion respectively in TR (excluding sightseeing, entertainment and gaming).

Visitors also spent more time in Singapore compared to before the pandemic, with the average length of stay in 2023 being approximately 3.8 days, an increase compared to 3.4 days for the same period in 2019.

Hotel Industry Performance

Singapore’s strong hotel industry performance in 2023 was driven by growing demand for leisure and business travel. In 2023, Average Room Rate (ARR) and Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR) surpassed 2019 levels, reaching $282 (~128% of 2019 ARR) and $226 (~118% of 2019 RevPAR) respectively. Average Occupancy Rate (AOR) was 80.1% in 2023, compared to 86.9% in the same period in 2019.

During the year, 3,210 new hotel keys were added to the market.

Cruise Industry Performance

Singapore’s position as a regional cruise hub strengthened in 2023 with a record 2 million passenger throughput received from more than 340 ship calls, since the opening of the Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore.

In 2023, Royal Caribbean International’s Spectrum of the Seas and Resorts World Cruises’ Genting Dream continued its year-round homeport at Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore.

TUI Cruises, Marella Cruises and Silversea Cruises continued their seasonal homeport while several maiden port calls were made by Virgin Voyages' Resilient Lady and Celebrity Cruises' Celebrity Edge.

In addition, STB and Disney Cruise Line signed a MOU to collaborate on the exclusive five-year year-round homeporting of Disney Adventure in Singapore from 2025.

Tourism Sector Manpower

As of September 2023, the total tourism workforce has recovered to around 72,000 – about 88 per cent of 2019 levels.

Programmes such as the Career Conversion Programme (CCP) for Tourism Professionals under Workforce Singapore (WSG) aims to support tourism companies to train new hires and reskill existing workers for job roles in the tourism related industries including hotel, MICE, attractions, tours and travel.

Additionally, STB will continue with the Tourism Careers Campaign, to increase awareness of the dynamic nature of the tourism sector and encourage jobseekers to pursue their passions and consider a career in tourism.

2024 Outlook

STB expects the tourism sector’s recovery to continue in 2024, driven by improved global flight connectivity and capacity as well as the implementation of the mutual 30-day visa-free travel between China and Singapore.

2024 international visitor arrivals are expected to reach around 15 to 16 million, bringing in approximately SG$26 to SG$27.5 billion in tourism receipts.

“To sustain our growth in 2024 and beyond, STB will focus on achieving quality tourism, cultivating strategic partnerships, investing in new and refreshed products and experiences, and supporting stakeholders in building capabilities,” said Ms Ow.

Singapore Tourism Press Conference by Kwan Su Min, Director Communications Marketing Group, STB

PODCAST

See all the other: NTO Press Conferences at the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2024.

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