HOTELS & TOURISM | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Chart of the Day: Is Singapore tourism losing its lustre?

International visitor arrivals tapered down to 1.1% in September.

After a disappointing 2015, the rebound in international visitor arrivals in 1H16 appears to be running out of steam as growth in the past few months have tapered down to just 1.1% YoY in Sep 2016.

According to Maybank KimEng, foreign visitors at the two integrated resorts have been weak and countries like the Philippines have had some success in wresting market share in the Chinese gaming segment. The 2016 Singapore Grand Prix also saw the poorest turnout since its inception in 2008.

"The most notable YoY declines the recent months have been from visitors from Japan, Hong Kong, Australia-New Zealand and Scandinavian markets. Malaysian tourists have also seen contraction in this period, albeit to a lesser degree, arguably resulting from the sharp depreciation in the currency (MYR/SGD depreciated c8% in past six months) affecting discretionary spending," the brokerage firm noted.

Maybank stated that the the outlook for visitor arrivals in 2017 is soft, and to a large extent reliant on relative appreciation or depreciation of regional currencies as Asia accounts for around 70-75% of international arrivals.

"Singapore is a large regional center for international conferences and trade conventions (averaging c10-12 every month of varying event size) but we also note that 1H17 growth could likely suffer from the high base effect of the 2016 Singapore Airshow, one of the country’s largest flagship global trade conferences that is a biennial event," it furthered.

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