Singapore visitor numbers increasing; targets Gulf

Singapore flexes its tourism muscle

Singapore continues to welcome visitors from the Middle East, said a senior official of Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

Singapore remains a family destination with so many experiences and it is a safe city, said G B Srithar, Regional Director, SE Asia Middle East & Africa, STB. He was speaking to the media following an event for the travel trade and media hosted by STB and Singapore Airlines in Dubai.

Srithar, who is based in STB’s Mumbai office which is responsible for the GCC/Middle East region, said Singapore Tourism Board remains engaged in this market.

Aswin K, General Manager Gulf & Middle East – Singapore Airlines, added that the airline is ramping up flight connections and is now at 75 per cent of pre-covid capacity.

“China was a major chunk of our network. So, bearing this in mind, we are more or less back to normal and over the next few months, the numbers will spike upwards,” he said.

Singapore Airlines has invested a lot over the last few years and during Covid to ensure that the Singapore experience shines on board, including the food. Over these next few months, a lot of new developments will be announced, he said.

Singapore’s international visitor arrivals (IVA) reached 6.3 million in 2022, about 33 per cent of 2019 IVA. This exceeded the forecast of 4 million to 6 million, he said. Tourism receipts are estimated to have reached S$13.8 billion to S$14.3 billion ($10.5 to $10.8 billion), which is approximately 50-52 percent of 2019.

Looking at the GCC market, Singapore welcomed 79,630 visitors in 2022, approximately 60 per cent of 2019 IVA from the region. The UAE accounted for 42,970 of this, which is 39 per cent of 2019 IVA. The peak months were July and August 2022. The average length of stay from the region was 5.3 days.

“The UAE is clearly our number one source marketing within the GCC,” he said.