$319m spent at 6-day Singapore Airshow

Visitors and other participants who attended the six-day Singapore Airshow in February spent an estimated $319 million on hotels, food, drinks and shopping, among other items.

The airshow raked in 25 per cent more in direct spending than the 2012 edition did, organiser Experia Events said. The show is held every two years.

The bulk of the money earned this year - $285 million - came from foreign visitors. Also included in the kitty were payments to contractors, to erect hospitality chalets and other facilities at the exhibition site near Changi Airport.

The airshow, touted to be among the top three in the world, outranked only by Le Bourget in France and Britain's Farnborough, was held from Feb 11 to 16.

After the event, Kadence International, which was engaged to determine the economic value of the show, conducted telephone interviews and Web surveys with nearly 1,400 trade attendees and more than 1,000 members of the public.

During the first three trade days, the show attracted over 40,000 trade visitors from 125 countries, compared with about 38,000 two years ago.

Over four days, sales deals worth US$32 billion (S$40 billion) were inked - US$1 billion more than in 2012 - marking a new peak for the event.

Experia Events managing director Leck Chet Lam said: "The results of the study reinforce the Singapore Airshow's standing as a platform of choice for international aerospace and defence companies to increase their visibility, network and do business in this dynamic region, and as an important contributor to the Mice (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) industry in Singapore."

Mr Lim Kok Kiang, assistant managing director of the Economic Development Board (EDB), said many new investments were announced during the show.

He said: "Our business-friendly environment, talented workforce and strategic location in the heart of Asia have made Singapore the location of choice for aerospace multinationals seeking to expand their footprint in this growing Asia-Pacific market.

"We welcome these investments, and look forward to furthering our partnership with the industry to achieve even greater success."

The next Singapore Airshow will be held in 2016. It will run from Feb 16 to 21 at the Changi Exhibition Centre.

karam@sph.com.sg