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HOTELS & TOURISM | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Singapore is APAC's 2nd most popular travel destination in 2018

Overall expenditure climbed 2.5 times from $8.85b (US$6.4b) in 2009 to $22.95b in the same period.

Singapore trails behind Bangkok to rank as the second most popular travel destination in the Asia-Pacific region with the number of overnight international visitors almost doubling to 14.7m in 2018 from 7.5 million in 2009, according to Mastercard’s Asia Pacific Destinations Index .

The growth of Singapore’s number of overnight international visitors represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.8% over the same period. Total nights spent in Singapore by these visitors also jumped from 38.6 million nights in 2009 to 60.9 million nights in 2018, which translates to a 5.2% CAGR over the nine-year period.

Overall expenditure also climbed 2.5 times from $8.85b (US$6.4b) in 2009 to $22.95b (US$16.6b) in 2018, with an average spend of $376.04 (US$272) a day.

Most of the nation’s visitors came from mainland China, followed by Indonesia, India, Australia and Malaysia.

Also read: Tourist spending down 4.8% to $6.5b in Q1

“The combination of world-class tourist attractions, MICE facilities and retail experiences, the convenience and accessibility to a well-connected public transport network and technologically sophisticated infrastructure such as SimplyGo, a contactless card payment service for transit, creates an exceptional travel experience for visitors,” said Deborah Heng, country manager for Singapore at Mastercard.

Also read: MICE market accounted for $2.2b of tourist receipts in 2018: report

In comparison, Bangkok has 22.8 million overnight international arrivals. Following Singapore, at third, fourth and fifth places are Kuala Lumpur (13.8 million visitors), Tokyo (12.9 million visitors) and Seoul (11.3 million visitors), respectively.

The top five markets account for over 22% of all overnight visitors in the Asia Pacific region. Primarily driven by explosive growth in outbound travel from mainland China, these five cities also capture 25.2% of total international travel spending in the region.

The region has hosted travellers making 342.2 million business and leisure trips, up from 159.1 million in 2009 and also represents an 8.9% CAGR over the nine-year period. Travel spending in Asia Pacific more than doubled, rising from $162.58b (US$117.6b) to $388.62b (US$281.1b).

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