The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) announced its 2008 targets at its annual Tourism Industry Night, setting an ambitious goal of nearly US$11 billion in tourism receipts and 10.8 million visitor arrivals for this year.
Singapore’s tourism sector has developed significantly in the past few years. Since 2004, visitor arrivals have increased by 25% to 10.3 million, while tourism receipts have grown by 45% to $9.7 billion in 2007.
To achieve its 2008 targets, Singapore has set its sights on an ambitious integrated tourism plan, which includes a packed calendar of high-profile events set to take place throughout the year that promises to attract an increasing number of Middle East travellers.
2008 has already started off on a strong note with the opening of Changi Airport Terminal 3, as well as several major inaugural events such as the Singapore Airshow, the opening of the Singapore Flyer – Asia’s first-ever giant observation wheel – and the upcoming 2008 FORMULA 1™ Singtel Singapore Grand Prix.
“STB is building on the momentum of its great success in 2007 to drive even more impressive tourism results for 2008. Given Singapore’s strong line-up of events and activities this year, we are very confident that we will be able to raise the bar and reach these aggressive new goals,” said Jason Ong, Area Director, Middle East and Africa, Singapore Tourism Board.
For the coming year, Singapore also plans to leverage on several key tourism opportunities, particularly in the cruise, hotel, and MICE industries.
International cruise companies are strengthening their presence in the region and have been identified as a new growth opportunity for Singapore’s tourism sector, with an expected 1.5 million cruise passenger throughput for Asia expected by 2010. As such, more international cruise companies are strengthening their presence in the region, using Singapore as a homeport for their ships as they cruise within Asia.
A new International Cruise Terminal at Marina South will be developed by 2010, to ensure that Singapore has the right facilities to attract the new generation of larger cruise ships and that Singapore can successfully capitalise on the global and Asian market growth by becoming a major cruise hub.
Given the rising demand for hotel rooms, the hotel sector is another key area for growth. In recent years, there has been heightened interest among hotel developers to invest in Singapore, and 12,000 more hotel rooms are expected within the next three to four years as new hotels open.
On the MICE front, major players including Kellen Company, Leipziger Messe GmbH, and Kenes International have chosen to set up base in Singapore, boosting Singapore’s position as a major venue for MICE events and reflecting the positive sentiments of the robust MICE market in Singapore and the region.
The presence of these companies will create greater opportunities for local industry players to acquire new capabilities, diversify the channels to reach the international market and raise the professionalism of Singapore’s MICE industry.