HOTELS & TOURISM | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Singapore tourists splurged $26.8b in 2017

Tourists from China, US, and UK were the biggest spenders.

Tourists in Singapore were on a roll in 2017 as they spent a total of $26.8b, a 3.9% rise from last year, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) revealed.

According to preliminary data, the growth was driven by higher visitor arrivals across all of Singapore's top 10 markets and other high-spending markets such as China, South Korea, the US, and the UK.

Visitor arrivals increased by 6.2% to 17.4 million, with 13 of the top 15 markets showing growth.

STB chief executive Lionel Yeo also said both tourism receipts and visitor arrivals hit record highs for the second time in two years.

China (+10%), US (+22%) and UK (+24%) registered the highest YOY absolute growth in tourism receipts excluding Sightseeing, Entertainment & Gaming (TRexSEG).

China also emerged top in tourism receipts for the third consecutive year. Growth in tourism receipts from China and UK was attributed to an increase in leisure visitors and higher spend on shopping.

US tourists were driven by business travels and higher spend on shopping.

Meanwhile, Indonesia, India, and Japan saw declines in tourism receipts due to slower business travel visitors.

Here's more from STB:

13 out of Singapore's top 15 markets registered growth in 2017, with seven of them - China, India, Vietnam, Philippines, US, UK and Germany - also hitting record visitor arrivals.

The top three largest markets for visitor arrivals were China, Indonesia, and India. Notably, India (+16%) saw the highest growth rate and, together with China (+13%), contributed to the bulk of the growth in visitor arrivals. Another highlight market for the year was Vietnam (+13%), which became a top 10 market for the first time. Declines in visitor arrivals were posted by Thailand (-3%) and Hong Kong SAR (-13%).

For the first three quarters of 2017, TRexSEG from the Business Travel and Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conventions and Exhibitions (BTMICE) industry grew by 4% to $3.15b compared to the same period in 2016.

This was due to BTMICE visitors spending more on Accommodation, Shopping and Other TR Components, which helped to offset the dip of 5% in BTMICE visitor arrivals to 1.75 million. 

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