Arrivals up but tourism spending dips in Q2

The dip in tourism spending was attributed to lower spending in areas like shopping, food and beverage as well as sightseeing, entertainment and gaming.
The dip in tourism spending was attributed to lower spending in areas like shopping, food and beverage as well as sightseeing, entertainment and gaming.PHOTO: ST FILE

Overall tourism spending in the second quarter of the year declined 1.7 per cent to $6.6 billion, compared with the same period last year.

This was despite some 4.6 million visitors arriving in Singapore between April and June this year, an 8 per cent increase over the same period last year, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) revealed in its quarterly report yesterday.

The dip in tourism spending was attributed to lower spending in areas like shopping (-22 per cent), food and beverage (-15 per cent) as well as sightseeing, entertainment and gaming (-2 per cent).

However, tourism spending grew for accommodation (6 per cent) and a miscellaneous category that includes expenditure on airfares on Singapore-based carriers, port taxes, local transportation, business, medical, education and transit visitors (20 per cent).

Miscellaneous spending increased to an estimated $1.8 billion, accounting for the largest share of tourist spending.

Revenue for gazetted hotel rooms for the second quarter grew by 9.4 per cent year on year to reach $1 billion, while the revenue per available room increased by 3.1 per cent year on year to $181 due to higher average room and occupancy rates.

The increase in visitor arrivals was highest for the month of June, when Singapore hosted the meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Visitor arrivals increased 11.3 per cent to 1.54 million that month compared with the same period last year, the STB said in September.

 
 

China, Indonesia and India remained the biggest sources of visitors and spending in the second quarter. Excluding sightseeing, entertainment and gaming spending, Chinese visitors spent $988 million, with about 43 per cent spent on shopping. Indonesian visitors spent $766 million, while Indian visitors spent $566 million.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 10, 2018, with the headline 'Arrivals up but tourism spending dips in Q2'. Print Edition | Subscribe