Singapore visitor numbers expected to double in 2023 as China reopens


The tourism sector in Singapore is recovering faster than expected with 6.3 million international visitor arrivals in 2022, two thirds of its 2019 figures.

Tourism receipts are estimated to reach approximately $15 billion, around half of the 2019 figures.

Visitor arrivals were driven by strong demand from Singapore’s key source markets, led by Indonesia (1.1 million), India (686,000) and Malaysia (591,000).

Tourism activity is now expected to recover to pre-pandemic levels by 2024.

“Our 2022 tourism performance underscores Singapore’s appeal as a leading business and leisure destination for post-pandemic travellers,” said Keith Tan, chief executive at Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

“To sustain our growth in 2023 and beyond, we will expand our partnerships, build up a rich year-round calendar of events, ramp up investment in new and refreshed products and experiences, and continue to support industry efforts to build the capabilities they need to meet consumer demands.”

The resumption of business events picked up pace in 2022, following the easing of border restrictions and safe management measures.

International events returning to Singapore include Food and Hotel Asia – Food & Beverage and Food and Hotel Asia – HoReCa, which took place as two dedicated trade shows for the first time, ITB Asia, and Singapore Fintech Festival, which attracted a record turnout from over 115 countries.

STB also secured new events like FIND: Design Fair Asia as well as Global Health Security Conference 2022 and the 14th World Stroke Congress.

Singapore’s calendar of leisure and sporting events also recovered strongly. The Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix 2022, held after a two-year hiatus, drew a record attendance of 302,000; the Tour de France Prudential Singapore Criterium also made its Southeast Asian debut.

Singapore’s hotel industry also posted an encouraging year due to stronger demand for leisure and business travel. From April to December 2022, the Average Occupancy Rate was 79.1 per cent, compared to 87.3 per cent recorded in the same period in 2019.

Average room rates during this period increased by 17 per cent to $281, while Revenue per Available Room increased by 6.2 per cent to $222.

STB expects the tourism sector to continue its growth momentum this year, on the back of increasing flight connectivity and capacity, and China’s gradual reopening.

International visitor arrivals are expected to reach around 12 to 14 million visitors.

STB will also continue to attract more business events such as the Herbalife APAC Extravaganza 2023 and the 25th World Congress of Dermatology 2023.