2017 was a great year for Singapore in many ways. The economy has been recovering and the growth over the last six to eight quarters has been better than what was expected. Many industries recorded substantial year on year growth with a few recording double digit growth. The country is making significant headway in financial tech and health tech. The tourism industry has also been faring well. Of particular interest has been the surge in tourists from around the ASEAN region. There has been a substantial rise in the influx of tourists from China, India, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and South Korea. Australia has also held on to its contribution to domestic tourism in the city state.
One of the major contributing factors to the growth in tourism has been cruising and Singapore has Malaysians to thank for it. Singapore has always been a regional tourism hub, especially for its connecting flights and the cruises that use the republic as its homeport. Malaysians, Indians, Chinese and international tourists from several countries in the region and beyond have always treasured their cruises either originating from or involving the ports in Singapore. In 2017, Malaysians contributed 29% to the growth of foreign tourists in the city state. The demand for holiday packages and cruises among Malaysians is at a record high in recent times.
As per the tourism receipts available, there has been a sharp rise of 11% of Malaysians visiting Singapore. This is valued at S$608 million RM 1,793.78 million. Of course this is not cruising alone. All holiday related expenditure has been accounted for including shopping, which is a major chunk for Malaysian tourists visiting the island. The footfalls of Malaysians increased by 1.5%, wherein Penang contributed an additional 9.6%, East Malaysia contributed an additional 2.7% and Ipoh contributed an additional 4.7%. This had a significant bearing on the increase of tourism receipts for all international travelers visiting the country. The increase is pegged at 3.9% and is valued at S$26.8 billion or RM 79.21 billion. The number of tourists arriving at Singapore increased to 17.4 million, which marks a growth of 6.2%.
Dawn Ng who serves as the area director of Singapore Tourism Board for Malaysia and Brunei has said that the encouraging growth at a time when the Malaysian market has had a challenging year can be attributed to the new additions to existing cruises that use Singapore as their homeport. Liners being operated by Royal Caribbean, Costa Victoria and Genting Dream have witnessed robust growth throughout 2017 and the same trends are being observed in 2018. As more tour and travel operators come up with curated holiday packages, more tourists would be embarking on cruises with an itinerary on land before or after their adventures on the high seas. The Singapore Tourism Board is projecting a growth in tourism receipts for the year 2018. The value is being pegged between S$27.1 billion or RM80.09 billion and S$27.6 billion or RM81.57 billion. The board is expecting around 17.6 million to 18.1 million international tourists this year.
About the Author
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