SINGAPORE: Fewer tourists visited Singapore last year compared to 2013, though numbers continued to remain high, preliminary estimates from the Singapore Tourism Board showed.
International visitor arrivals totalled 15.1 million last year, a 3.1 per cent dip from 2013’s 15.6 million, which was a record in visitor arrivals.
But the drop last year was especially prominent in the China market. The number of Chinese visitors last year fell 24 per cent from 2013. China is the only nation among the top 15 markets to record a double-digit fall.
The STB said the drop was likely due to factors such as the implementation of China’s Tourism Law, regional socio-political issues and recent aviation incidents in the region.
But despite the dip in the total number of visitors, each visitor spent marginally more compared to 2013, with tourism receipts for 2014 holding steady at S$23.5 billion.
There was also good news on the visitor arrivals front from elsewhere in the region. On the back of a stronger Korean won against the Singapore dollar, 14 per cent more South Koreans visited Singapore last year compared to 2013. The Hong Kong and Vietnam markets also saw an increase in visitor arrivals of 17 and 11 per cent, respectively, compared to 2013.