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 Crisis hits S'pore tourism

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Registration date : 2009-01-03

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PostSubject: Crisis hits S'pore tourism   Crisis hits S'pore tourism Icon_minitimeTue Feb 03, 2009 6:14 pm

Crisis hits S'pore tourism
By Lim Wei Chean

Crisis hits S'pore tourism Chewsengkim-SGtourist
"The decline in visitor arrivals to Singapore reflects the impact of the global economic slowdown on consumer sentiments and discretionary spending," said the STB in a statement on Tuesday. -- ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

THE global financial turmoil took its toll on Singapore tourism last year as tourist arrivals declined for the first time since the Sars crisis.

Some 10.1 million visitors visited the Republic last year, a dip of 1.6 per cent from the previous year, falling short of the previously announced targets of 10.8 million.

But, tourism receipts rose to a record $14.8 million, up 4.8 per cent over 2007, according to consolidated data released by the Singapore Tourism Board on Tuesday.

Visitor days were estimated to reach 41.3 million days, up 8.7 per cent from 2007, also setting a new record. Hotels continued to do well last year with record $2.1 billion in room revenue, growing 12.1 per cent over the previous year.

Average room rate went up 21.9 per cent to reach $246 and Revenue Per Available Room grew 13.5 per cent to hit $199. But hotel occupancy posted a 6 percentage point drop to 81 per cent.

Although Indonesians continued to the Singapore's biggest visitors, accounting for close to 1.8 million, they also accounted for the biggest drop in the top 10 markets, falling some 10 per cent.

Of the top 10 markets, only Australia and India posted an increase from 2007.

Australians accounted for the third highest arrivals, with some 833,000 coming last year, an increase of 8 per cent.

Indians were the fourth largest group, with 778,000 - a 4 per cent spike. The Chinese were second with over 1 million tourist, but this was still 3 per cent lower than 2007.

STB attributed the fall to the impact of the global economic crisis having its impact on discretionary spending. It is expected to announce its targets for this year soon.

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