Singapore Sees Fifth Year of Growth in Visitors from the Middle East

Published February 14th, 2010 - 08:01 GMT

Despite the headwind generated by the global economic downturn and the H1N1 virus, Singapore was able to record its fifth consecutive year of increase in tourist arrivals from the Middle East in 2009.

Singapore welcomed 117,000 visitors from the Middle East in 2009, a 2.7 percent growth over 2008, while total visitor arrivals to Singapore reached 9.7 million visitors – underscoring strong performance in the final quarter of 2009, and exceeding the year’s forecast of 9 million to 9.5 million visitor arrivals.

Tourism receipts from January to December 2009 were estimated at S$12.4 billion, reaching the upper-bound of the forecast of S$12billion to S$12.5 billion. In December 2009, Singapore received 971,000 visitors, which is the highest visitor arrivals ever achieved in one month.

The rebound in tourism arrivals in the last quarter of 2009, and the continual increase in visitors from the Middle East, reaffirms Singapore’s position as a top global destination for family vacations and business trips, with its ever-changing offering of top tourist attractions, bustling retail, delectable dining, world-class business events facilities, and wide selection of quality accommodation.

Last year saw Singapore host a slew of successful events, such as the APEC Economic Leaders Summit, the 1st F1 RocksTM concert series, and the launch of new products, including The Capella Hotel Singapore – a luxurious hotel resort – and Singapore’s latest shopping icon, ION Orchard. 

Tourism is expected to rebound strongly in 2010, with the highly anticipated opening of Singapore’s two new multi-billion dollar Integrated Resorts; the first Resorts World Sentosa’s Universal Studios Theme Park, which is due to open before the end of February, is expected to draw strong crowds in view of the fact that it is South East Asia’s first Universal Studios Theme Park.

The second integrated resort, Marina Bay Sands, with its luxurious Marine Sands ShoppesTM and panoramic Sands SkyPark, is scheduled to open in April 2010. The luxury destination includes high-end hotels, a casino, theatre showing West-end productions, a state-of the-art exhibition and conference centre, and six celebrity chef restaurants offering world-class dining.  

In 2010, Singapore can look forward to the honour of hosting the first-ever Youth Olympics Games, which takes place between 14-26 of August, just one month ahead of the Singapore Formula One night race, the only night race on the Formula One race calendar.

“Middle East visitors are continuing to discover Singapore’s unique tourism appeal and I am confident that this trend will accelerate in 2010,” said Jason Ong, Area Director Middle East and Africa, Singapore Tourism Board.

“2010 promises to be a fantastic year for all to visit Singapore, with the launch of the new Integrated Resorts, and global events such as the Singapore Airshow and the Youth Olympic Games, Singapore will be the destination to watch in 2010,” Ong concluded.

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