A record total of 18.5 million international visitors came to Singapore in 2018. Based on 2018 figures the top five countries people visit Singapore are from: China, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, and Australia. Visitor numbers from all these originating countries is from 2017, with India showing the greatest increase at 13.4% with 1.44m visitors.
Arrivals from China, India, Philippines, UK, USA, Vietnam, and Germany also hit record-high numbers in 2018.
Growing Chinese market
The increase in tourist numbers from mainland China is reflective of the increase in China’s outbound tourist numbers of 45.6% between 2013 and 2017, to 143 million. Singapore saw an increase in arrivals from China of 39% in the same period.
Singapore is an attractive destination for tourists from China thanks to a large number of native Chinese speakers – 34.9% of Singaporeans speak Mandarin at home, while a further 12.2% speak other Chinese dialects. There is also increased flight connectivity between China and Singapore.
What do visitors to Singapore spend their money on?
Overall tourism expenditure rose 1.0% to S$27.1 billion, mainly fuelled by growth in the number of visitor arrivals.
Tourist spending grew but was slowed by declines in spending on shopping (14%), accommodation (5%) and food & beverage (4%). But there was increased spending on sightseeing, entertainment & gaming (6%) and other components (21%).
Once again, Chinese tourists topped the list in tourism expenditure, spending S$3.9 billion.
Chinese tourists spent the most on shopping (47%); travellers from the US spent the most on accommodation (40%); Travellers from the Philippines spent the most on food and beverage (17%); while visitors from Indonesia spent the most ‘other tourism receipt components’ which includes airfare and other modes of transport such as ferries and crusies (47%).
Chinese New Year the most popular season of travel for Chinese tourists
Chinese arrivals in 2018 peaked in February (Chinese New Year was Feb 16) at 366,616. July and August also saw peaks in arrivals from China (361,019 and 380,108 respectively) during school holiday periods.