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Tourist spend in Singapore dips in H1 2019 despite marketing push

Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has unveiled that tourist spend fell by 3% in the first half of 2019. According to its report, tourism receipts (TR) reached SG$13.1 billion which is a decline compared to the same period last year. STB cited lower expenditures across some components including Accommodation, Food & Beverage and Sightseeing, Entertainment and Gaming (SEG) while Shopping and Other TR Components grew.

The report also shed light on tourist receipts for the second quarter of 2019. While international visitor arrivals grew 1.7% year-on-year to reach 4.6 million visitors, TR declined by 1.3% to reach SG$6.5 billion. There was an increase in Shopping expenditure (+11%) while declines were observed for Accommodation (-13%), Food & Beverage (-3%) and Sightseeing, Entertainment & Gaming (-1%). Other TR Components which include expenditure on airfares on Singapore-based carriers, port taxes, local transportation, as well as expenditure by business, medical, education and transfer/ transit visitors, held steady in the same period.

Excluding expenditure on Sightseeing, Entertainment & Gaming (SEG), China (S$897 million), Indonesia (S$757 million) and India (S$478 million) were the top three TR generating markets in Q2 2019, contributing to 42% of total tourism spend. Meanwhile, Vietnam, Philippines and the US registered the highest year-on-year growth in tourist receipts for the second quarter.

However, STB has been ramping up its marketing prowess and partnerships to drive tourism to Singapore. STB partnered online travel agency Trip.com last month on marketing Singapore as a tourism destination. Both parties aim to collaborate and deepen the partnership through multi-pronged efforts, and boost the tourist experience in Singapore. Singapore has become one of the most popular destinations for Chinese tourists, and both parties look to leverage advantages in users, technology and data, explore product R&D and brand marketing.

This comes in line with the launch of “Passion Made Possible Privileges” campaign in China, targetting Chinese visitors across the entire consumer journey. The three-year campaign looks to promote various tourism offerings and drive spend in Singapore in shopping, dining, hotels, sight-seeing, events and entertainment.

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