Singapore welcomed record number of visitors in 2016
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Singapore welcomed record number of visitors in 2016

SINGAPORE’S international visitor arrivals rose 7.7 percent last year to a record 16.4 million, helped by more travelers from China, India and Indonesia, but the tourism board forecast a slower pace of growth for 2017.

Tourism receipts rose 13.9 percent to an all-time high of S$24.8 billion (US$17.5 billion), the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said, based on preliminary estimates. Arrivals last year accelerated from an increase of around one percent in 2015. The tourism figures exceeded the STB’s forecast for 2016.

Visitors from China surged 36 percent to 2.86 million, while those from India rose eight percent. Arrivals from Indonesia rose six percent to 2.89 million.

For 2017, the STB expects visitor arrivals of 16.4-16.7 million, a flat to two percent rise. It forecast tourism receipts to be in the range of S$25.1-S$25.8 billion, an increase of one to four percent.

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The STB said global economic and political uncertainties would probably continue to persist, while there was increasing competition for tourists.

Singapore, which relies on tourism for about four percent of its economic output, has built a reputation for glitzy shopping malls, street food, casinos and the Formula One night race.

The city-state has also been increasingly courting tourists from smaller cities in key markets like China and India, as well as business travelers from new segments such as financial technology (fintech) companies. – Reuters

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