Singapore still a favorite among Chinese tourists

Tourists gather at Merlion Park, a landmark in Singapore. Source: Shutterstock/berm_teerawat

LAST year, Singapore achieved a record number of arrivals to a record 16.4 million, or a 7.7 percent surge from the previous year.

In large part, the island nation’s success was spurred by visitors from China, whose numbers rose a significant 36 percent to a whopping 2.86 million last year.

Recent data from the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) revealed the Chinese spent an estimated US$2.59 billion in Singapore last year, nearly a US$740 million increase from 2015.

According to Straits Times, this is the second time the Chinese were recorded to be the biggest spending group in Singapore. Tourists are drawn to the country’s diverse shopping options, especially on the main shopping belt of Orchard Road.

SEE ALSO: Plans to introduce car-free policy on Singapore’s iconic Orchard Road 

A separate survey by showed Singapore will remain the top regional holiday destination for the Chinese, or at least for the next 12 months. Greater China, Southeast Asia and India regional marketing director Jessica Chuang told TODAY:

“Given the rising Chinese middle class and their vast disposable income, countries cannot ignore the impact Chinese tourists can have on a country’s economy.”

Besides shopping, the Chinese are enamored with Singapore because of its low crime rates – compared to its Asian peers, the city-state is known to be one of the safest cities.

On top of that, the relaxation of visa rules for the Chinese in 2015 also helped with the surge of interest. Numbers also showed Chinese tourists are expected to spend an average of seven days per visit, with an average expenditure of US$446 a day.

SEE ALSO: Singapore most livable city for Asian expats, Australian cities trail closely