The tourism industry in Singapore anticipates a rebound to pre-pandemic figures by 2024, having already surpassed official forecasts in 2022.
According to the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), visitor arrivals are projected to bounce back to pre-pandemic figures by 2024. In 2022, visitors to the region already surpassed official predictions when they reached 6.2 million– a third of the number of tourists in 2019- versus the STB’s forecast of 4 to 6 million arrivals.
The government bureau estimates that the sector reached SG$13.8 to $14.3 billion in 2022- around half of 2019 figures- with SG$8.96 billion spent in the first three quarters of the year. Official figures will be released in the second quarter of 2023.
This was one-third of the number in 2019, before international travel came to a halt in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Director of Communications of the Singapore Tourism Board, Terrence Voon, shared that travellers spent the most on accommodation, shopping, and other expenses such as airfare- “We believe this took up a larger share of the pie, partly because of the increase in airfares.”
As Singapore was one of the first regions in Asia to open its borders amidst the global pandemic, it was quick to benefit from “strong pent-up demand,” added Terrence.
The highest volume of visitors came from Indonesia, India, and Malaysia, with key tourism industries also rebounding, such as the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) and the cruise sectors, where foot traffic came up to 1.2 million.
The STB also shared that tourists have been spending more time in the city state in contrast with pre-pandemic times as for the last three quarters of the past year, Singapore dropped quarantine restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers.
The Chief Executive of the Singapore Tourism Board, Keith Tan commented that “The number is expected to decline towards the pre-Covid duration but [he has observed] a trend of visitors staying longer. Our 2022 tourism performance underscores Singapore’s appeal as a leading business and leisure destination for post-pandemic travellers. 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.”
As China just opened its borders as well, the STB anticipates high levels of inbound travellers from the country, further contributing to the recovery of its tourism sector.
Featured banner image credit: @STBsingapore