As the country attains record highs in visitor arrivals and tourism receipts for the second consecutive year in 2017, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is training its sights on families and youths from emerging and longhaul markets to sustain the growth in inbound traffic.
Tourism receipts rose by 3.9 per cent to S$26.8 billion (US$20.2 billion), largely driven by growth in visitor arrivals across all top 10 markets and higher visitor arrivals from high-spending markets such as China, South Korea, the US and the UK, according to STB.
Visitor arrivals climbed 6.2 per cent to 17.4 million, with Vietnam, China, India and longhaul markets showing considerable growth last year.
Visitor arrivals from Vietnam – of which some 50 per cent were from Ho Chi Minh and 20 per cent from Hanoi – entered Singapore’s top 10 arrival markets for the first time with a 13 per cent increase from 2016 to 2017.
This market, which numbers 531,000, largely comprised leisure group travellers, shared Chee Pey Chang, assistant chief executive, STB.
“The Vietnam economy is fast expanding. There is a growing middle class and people are starting to embrace travel as a must-do lifestyle choice,” noted Chang.
STB will look to “deepen (its) penetration of the Vietnam market”, which favours Singapore for weekend getaways and its event draws, he continued.
Meanwhile, China overtook Indonesia to become Singapore’s top source market for visitor arrivals, and India posted the highest growth rate at a 16 per cent over 2016.
Outside of Asia, longhaul markets such as the US, UK and Australia registered record highs. The US jumped by nine per cent and two positions to reach the ninth source market, and the UK and Australia rose by six and five per cent respectively.
These trends were bolstered by increased flight connectivity with Singapore, especially encouraged by competitive fares via LCCs such as Norwegian, Scoot and Vietjet, said Chang.
He shared that to further cultivate these source markets, STB is looking to target families as well as two younger traveller segments – in the “established careers” and “young careers” stages – with its digital and marketing campaigns.
These include collaborations with private companies such as Lyft and Pandora in the US.
It also plans to intensify multimedia engagements, such as through Eric Khoo’s film Ramen Teh and the upcoming Crazy Rich Asians movie produced locally.