Singapore: The number of tourist arrivals in Singapore during the first six months of the year have been the highest ever so far.
For the period January to June, the city-state received 4.9 million visitors, up 5.2% from the same period a year earlier. “This is the highest percentage of visitor arrivals recorded over the January to June period for the Singapore tourism sector,” it said.
Singapore Tourism Board said it is confident of meeting its full-year target of 10.2 million visitors with an expected boost during the peak months of July, August and December.
Estimated tourism receipts for the six months reached S$6.4 bn which was a 9% increase. The board informed that their year’s target was $13.6 bn.
“We have also seen record high visitor arrivals for each month this year compared to the same month in previous years,” said Lim Neo Chian, chief executive and deputy chairman of the Singapore Tourism Board.
Indonesians were the largest group of visitors, with 911,000 arriving between January and June, the board said, followed by China with 529,000 and India with 386,000.
Average hotel room rates and occupancy rates were at a record high for the first six months of any year, it added.
Lacking natural attractions, Singapore has embarked on a major campaign to spruce up its tourist appeal.
It has plans for new attractions including two casino resorts, expected to open by 2010 and is trying to become an arts and entertainment centre, and is to host its first Formula One Grand Prix event later next year.