More visitor arrivals to Singapore in Q1 2013, but tourism spending drops

More visitor arrivals to Singapore in Q1 2013, but tourism spending drops

But overall tourism spending dropped by 6 per cent to $5.7billion. The report showed that visitors spent less on accommodation, shopping, and sightseeing and entertainment. They spent the same amount on food and beverage. The decline in spending was driven mainly by a 6 per cent drop in the number of business travellers. This group also dished out less money across all components. In particular, they spent 21 per cent less on accommodation, due primarily to a downgrading in hotel types.

Get the full story from The Straits Times.

Here is the report by Singapore Tourism Board:

Tourist sector performance Q1 2013 report

Singapore remains an attractive holiday destination in Quarter One (Q1) 2013. Excluding Sightseeing & Entertainment (including Gaming) expenditure, Tourism Receipts (TR) for Leisure saw an 8 per cent year-on-year increase. All components in Leisure spend saw an increase, except for Shopping (-3 per cent).

There was, however, a drop in BTMICE visitor arrivals (-6 per cent) and in their spending across all components, particularly in Accommodation (-21 per cent) which was due to a trading down to midtier hotel types. Sightseeing & Entertainment (including Gaming) EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Quarter One 2013 Highlights spend also saw an 11 per cent decline, following the two integrated resorts' reports of a 14 per cent decline in SGD net gaming revenue in Q1 2013. Due to these two factors, the overall TR for Q1 2013 saw a 6 per cent decline over Q1 2012, coming in at S$5.7 billion.

International Visitor Arrivals (IVA) for Q1 2013 stood at 3.9 million, registering a 9 per cent year-on-year growth, with Indonesia, P R China, Malaysia, Australia and Japan as the top 5 markets. Gazetted hotel room revenue was an estimated S$0.7 billion, a relatively flat growth of 0.8 per cent y-o-y.

Tourism Receipts (TR) for quarter one (Q1) 2013 were estimated at S$5.7 billion, a 6 per cent decline over the same period last year. Declines were observed for all TR components, with the exception of F&B. Spending on S&E (including gaming) declined by 11 per cent year-on-year as both integrated resorts reported declines in their overall gaming revenues.

The decline in overall TR was driven mainly by a drop in business visitor arrivals (-6 per cent) and reduced spending across all components. This is particularly pronounced in accommodation (-21 per cent) due primarily to a downgrading in hotel types. As a result, business visitors' TR (excluding SE&G) declined by 20 per cent year-on-year.

The decline in BTMICE traffic was also reported by several markets in the region, such as China, Hong Kong SAR, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and Australia. Industry feedback further suggested that businesses were generally cutting down on business trip budgets and the number of trips to various regional destinations, including Singapore.

Conversely, TR (excluding SE&G) contribution by leisure visitors was driven by a healthy leisure visitor arrival growth and saw an 8 per cent year-on-year increase.

Excluding Sightseeing & Entertainment expenditure, P R China (S$759 million), Indonesia (S$745 million) and India (S$273 million) were Singapore's top three TR generating markets during Q1 2013, contributing to 41 per cent of TR (excluding S&E).

Among our top ten source markets, PR China (+13 per cent), Thailand (+12 per cent) and UK (+6 per cent) saw the fastest growth in TR (excluding S&E) compared to the same quarter last year. P R China's growth was volume-driven, with an increase in both leisure and business traffic. Thailand's growth was boosted by higher per capita spending, with a double-digit increase reported in shopping receipts (+21 per cent), boosted by a positive exchange rate against the SGD. The growth for UK was driven by an increase in the average spend among business travellers (+19 per cent).

The Philippines (-29 per cent), USA (-15 per cent) and Japan (-8 per cent) registered the largest percentage decline in TR (excluding S&E) compared to Q1 2012, with a double-digit decline in the per capita spend of each market arising from visitors cutting back on all major components.

Indonesia (710,000), P R China (648,000), Malaysia (290,000), Australia (277,000), and Japan (219,000) were Singapore's top five international visitor-generating markets for January to March 2013. These markets accounted for 55 per cent of total IVA for the first quarter.

The opening of new attractions such as the Giant Panda Forest, S.E.A Aquarium and Adventure Cove were cited by Indonesian travel agents as reasons for the increased interest in visiting Singapore.

Visitor arrivals from Hong Kong SAR (+25 per cent), Taiwan (+24 per cent), Australia (+20 per cent), P R China (+19 per cent) and Japan (+13 per cent) recorded double-digit growth rates for January - March 2013. Hong Kong's growth in Q1 2013 was boosted in March 2013 (+43 per cent) with Good Friday falling on March 2013 against April 2012. The growth for P R China was mainly due to an increase in air arrivals via flights from Hong Kong. Additional flight capacity was also the key driver for IVA growth for Hong Kong, Taiwan and Australia.

Conversely, Germany (-9 per cent) and Vietnam (-2 per cent) recorded slight declines for January- March 2013, due partly to a cut in air capacity.

Gazetted hotel room revenue for Q1 2013 came in at an estimated S$0.7 billion, representing a relatively flat 0.8 per cent year-onyear growth.

Average Room Rate (ARR2) stood at S$254 in Q1 2013, a year-on-year decrease of 1.6 per cent. Upscale hotels posted the highest decline rate of 9.4 per cent, followed by Economy hotels at 7.7 per cent versus Q1 2012.

Average Occupancy Rate (AOR3) was 86 per cent in Q1 2013, a slight drop of 0.4 per cent points when compared to Q1 2012.

The weaker performance in both ARR and AOR resulted in a 2.0 per cent fall in Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR4), which stood at S$219 for Q1 2013. The Upscale and Economy tiers showed the strongest decline in terms of RevPAR while the Luxury tier saw a 4.3 per cent year-on-year growth.

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