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Singapore forecasts up to six million visitors this year

SINGAPORE (CNA) – Visitor arrivals to Singapore are expected to increase to between four to six million this year as global travel picks up pace, said the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) yesterday.

The projection comes amid the easing of COVID-19 related border restrictions globally, and pent-up demand for travel.

Latest figures showed that Singapore logged 1.5 million visitor arrivals in the first half of the year, nearly 12 times more compared to the same period in 2021.

Indonesia, which accounted for 282,000 arrivals, was the top source of visitors, followed by India (219,000), Malaysia (139,000), Australia (125,000) and the Philippines (81,000).

Together, they accounted for 56 per cent of Singapore’s visitor arrivals between January and June 2022.

STB also said that the average length of stay for visitors more than doubled in the first half of 2022 – at about 7.1 days compared to 3.4 days in 2019.

A traveller sits on a bench at Changi International Airport in Singapore. PHOTO: AFP

Singapore’s tourism industry has been battered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

With borders around the world closing and authorities putting up travel restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19, Singapore’s visitor arrivals plummeted more than 80 per cent year-on-year to 2.7 million in 2020, and plunged further to 330,000 visitor arrivals in 2021.

In 2019, Singapore hosted a record 19.1 million visitors, and tourism receipts amounted to SGD27.7 billion.

The tourism board said that it continues to expect that tourism flows will recover to pre-COVID levels by the mid-2020s.

“The encouraging growth in visitor arrivals and tourism receipts signals strong pent-up demand, and underscore Singapore’s continued appeal as an attractive destination for leisure and business travellers,” said STB Chief Executive Keith Tan.

“While the pandemic is certainly not over yet, we are confident that Singapore’s rich calendar of events, as well as new and refreshed tourism offerings, will continue to attract visitors for 2022 and beyond.”