The annual Kusu pilgrimage season, which coincides with the ninth lunar month and is ongoing from Oct 5 to Nov 2, appears to be losing its lustre.
Last year, some 47,000 devotees made the 15-minute ferry trip to Kusu Island, according to the Sentosa Leisure Group, which manages the island that is located 5.6km from Singapore.
This year, about 14,000 people have made the pilgrimage so far, said Mr Ryden Fang, general manager of Singapore Island Cruise & Ferry Services, which exclusively runs scheduled ferry trips to Kusu.
He added that there has been a drop in visitorship of about 5,000 people each year since 2007.
On the pilgrimage, devotees usually visit the Da Bo Gong Temple, built in 1923 and which houses deities Tua Pek Kong (God of Prosperity) and Guan Yin (Goddess of Mercy).
They then make a 152-step climb to a Malay shrine atop a hillock, where three kramats, or holy shrines of Malay saints, reside.
At both sites, devotees pray for blessings ranging from marriage and fertility to health, prosperity and peace of mind.
Get The New Paper for more stories.