Few destinations offer more for travellers than Singapore and buzzing with excitement, there’s always something new to discover. The latest tourism figures for Singapore show record spending by UK Visitors in the first six months of 2011. Over 231,000 people visited from the UK between January and June, more than from each of the United States, Germany and Hong Kong.
UK visitors spent S$282 million, mostly on accommodation, food and shopping. Singapore has seen a wave of new hotels, restaurants and shops opening in the last 18 months, as well as significant new conference and meeting facilities.
Total international visitor arrivals to Singapore between January and June 2011 stood at 6.2 million, a 15% increase on the same period in 2010. Additionally, total spend from tourism during the same period is estimated at S$11 billion, up 32% on the same six months last year.
Entertainment saw the greatest percentage change with a 136% increase in sightseeing and Entertainment expenditure for the period, followed by a 23% increase in Food and Beverage expenditure.
Singapore is an extraordinary city rich with multicultural diversity and tourism is set to be a key focus for Asia-Pacific with the region expecting to attract over 100 million business travel and MICE visitors by 2015, up from 40 million in 2002. Tourism will remain a key pillar with tourism receipts expected to rise to S$30 billion by 2015, with visitor arrivals increasing to 17 million.
Much of this success can be attributed to the city’s constantly changing skyline, which has seen the city evolve to encompass more state of the art entertainment facilities, innovative design hotels to suit every budget and a wealth of new dining options. The successful launch of integrated resorts Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa, new hotels such as Fullerton Bay and The New Majestic and shopping facilities such ION Orchard and the new Louis Vuitton store have all contributed to the growth.
Eunice Yeo, Area Director Northern & Western Europe commented;
“It is fantastic that the ever-changing skyline has seen Singapore remaining hugely attractive to UK visitors. As Singapore has continued to evolve it has built more state of the art facilities adding a wealth of options for visitors, meaning that they are staying longer than ever before. New hotel options to suit all budgets, including ‘Flashpacker hostels’, have added to the city’s sophisticated infrastructure with well over 100 hotel offerings, many celebrity chef restaurants, world-class entertainment venues and a plethora of retail outlets.
“This continued growth has enabled us to set ambitious targets and we believe that future expansion planned for Singapore over the coming years will allow us to achieve them.”
Singapore is poised to witness further changes, with the forthcoming opening of Gardens By The Bay in Spring 2012 again changing the city’s horizon, with dramatic “supertrees” and two huge glass domes at the heart of the complex.
Construction is well underway and it is set to rival anything that the world has so far seen in terms of innovative moderngardens. Occupying 101 hectares (the equivalent of 177 football fields) its first phase is due to officially open in June 2012.. Given the relatively short timespan to create a garden from reclaimed land, the Supertrees provide an immediate scale and dimension to the Gardens while marrying the form and function of mature trees. They also create height to balance the current and future tall developments in the Marina Bay Area.
2012 will also see the opening of the new International Cruise Terminal and the River Safari. The new International Cruise Terminal will propel Singapore into the major maritime league. Upon completion, this two-berth facility in Marina South will accommodate the largest cruise ships and liners from around the world. With its distinctive rooftop depicting a modern interpretation of rolling waves, the terminal will be an aestehtic masterpiece cure to leave an awesome impression on visitors. The River Safari in Mandai will be the world’s first and only river – themed wildlife park, featuring the world’s largest repository of freshwater flora and fauna. It is carved out of the same 89 hectare Mandai area which houses the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari and will have new species of wildlife, boat rides and special displays of freshwater habitats.