Singapore is expecting that visitation to the city will double in 2023, compared to last year, despite 2022 breaking forecasts expectations for international arrivals, at 6.3 million visitors.
Expectations for 2023 are for international arrivals to total between 12 and 14 million, bringing in SG$18 billion to SG$21 billion in tourism receipts, roughly two-thirds of the levels seen in 2019.
The city’s tourism board says its basing this expectation on the continued ‘growth momentum this year, on the back of increasing flight connectivity and capacity, and China’s gradual reopening’.
Singapore has set aside SG$500 million for ‘tourism recovery’, with the tourism board now planning to ‘front load SG$100 million’ of the amount to ‘ramp up business and leisure events over these two years’.
Speaking of the city’s plans to capture more visitors, the Chief Executive of Singapore’s Tourism Board, Keith Tan, noted that “To sustain our growth in 2023 and beyond, we will expand our partnerships, build up a rich year-round calendar of events, ramp up investment in new and refreshed products and experiences, and continue to support industry efforts to build the capabilities they need to meet consumer demands.”
During 2022, Indonesia was actually Singapore’s key visitor market, contributing 1.1 million tourists, followed by India, at 686,000 and Malaysia, at 591,000.
The leading two tourism markets provided some SG$1.1 billion and $704 million, with Australia also contributing SG$633 million in tourism revenue. The figures exclude any gaming revenue.
Singapore is now banking on keeping its visitors in the city for longer, with the last three quarters of the year seeing average length of stay increasing to 4.81 days, compared to 3.36 days in the same period of 2019.
Hotel occupancy during the three-quarter period in 2022 amounted to 79.1 percent, down from 87.3 percent in the same period of 2019.
Aside from hotel offerings, the city is also aiming to increase its position as a cruise hub, already announcing the first China cruise since the beginning of the pandemic would be departing from Singapore.
In 2022 already, the city welcomed 230 ship calls, with passenger throughput of 1.2 million, ‘about two-thirds of pre-pandemic levels’, notes the board.
Two new cruise lines have also decided to make Singapore their seasonal homeport.