SINGAPORE'S integrated resorts and attractions continue to exert a strong pull on visitors, with sightseeing/entertainment (including gaming) coming in as the top-contributing component to tourism receipts in 2012.
Last year saw the debut of new products such as Port of Lost Wonder in Sentosa and the Bird Breeding Centre in Jurong Bird Park.
During a media conference today on last year’s tourism performance, STB chief executive, Lionel Yeo, reiterated the country’s desire to increase tourism yield through visitor spend rather than footfalls.
He said: “We cannot be growing visitors indefinitely and we really want to focus on discerning business and leisure travellers who can take advantage of the differentiated offerings in Singapore.
“We want to go after CEOs who will bring their entire senior team to Singapore for teambuilding or corporate learning exercises as Singapore can provide them the experience they need.”
As part of its push for high-yield tourists, STB had earlier announced a new Kickstart Fund with an initial funding of S$5 million (US$4 million) to support local SMEs or individuals with creative ideas for lifestyle concepts with strong tourism potential and scalability (TTG Asia e-Daily, March 14, 2013).
Some 14.4 million tourists arrived in Singapore last year, a nine per cent increase over 2011, while tourism receipts recorded S$23 billion, a mere 3.6 per cent rise. STB has forecast 14.8-15.5 million arrivals and tourism receipts of S$23.5-24.5 billion for 2013.
As to whether Singapore was losing out on budget tourists, STB assistant chief executive, Melissa Ow, said: “We recognise that Singapore is an expensive city but we should see price in the context of what it buys.
“It is about whether you want to have a quality and valuable experience at the end of the day.”
Meanwhile, Singapore also saw a growth in the number of travel agencies, from 1,046 in 2011 to 1,103 in 2012.