SINGAPORE - Almost 14 million tourists visited Singapore in 2017, helping the country retain its position as the fifth most visited global destination out of 162 cities, and the second most visited in Asia-Pacific behind Bangkok - based on the latest Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index released on Tuesday (Sept 25).
Singapore also topped the table in tourist spending for the Asia-Pacific region, and was fourth globally for the second year in a row. Visitors spent an average of US$286 (S$390) a day here, resulting in a total of US$17.02 billion spent in 2017.
Tourists also stayed in Singapore for an average of 4.3 nights.
The largest group of visitors to Singapore came from China (18.8 per cent), followed by Indonesia (15 per cent), India (8.3 per cent), Australia (6.1 per cent) and Malaysia (5.2 per cent).
Posting a 6.1 per cent growth, with 13.91 million visitors in 2017, Singapore also more than doubled its growth forecast of 2.6 per cent, said the report.
"Singapore's diverse offerings from its vibrant events all year round, unique tourist attractions and world-renowned cuisine have enabled the city to hold its place as one of the top five most popular destinations globally," said Mastercard Singapore's country manager Deborah Heng.
"The healthy year-on-year growth in visitor arrivals and the highest overall tourist expenditure in Asia demonstrates the strong partnerships between government and businesses in attracting travellers from all around the world."
TOP 5 MOST VISITED CITIES (number of visitors)
1. Bangkok - 20.05 million
2. London - 19.83 million
3. Paris 17.44 million
4. Dubai 15.79 million
5. Singapore 13.91 million
TOP 5 CITIES BY DOLLARS SPENT
1. Dubai - US$29.7 billion (S$40.5 billion)
2. Mecca - US$18.45 billion
3. London - US$17.45 billion
4. Singapore - US$17.02 billion
5. Bangkok - US$16.36 billion
The most popular destination in the world was Bangkok, with about 20 million visitors, followed by London, Paris, Dubai and Singapore, which edged out New York. The US city had 13.13 million visitors in 2017.
In terms of spending, tourists splashed out the most in Dubai, with US$29.7 billion spent in the Middle East city in 2017 - and an average spend of US$537 a day. Mecca in Saudi Arabia came in a distant second at US$18.45 billion, followed by London at US$17.45 billion, then Singapore.