Singapore Expects Slower 2017 Growth
Singapore forecasts slower growth in tourist arrivals this year, citing global economic and political uncertainties and stiffer competition from neighbors in the region.
Visitors may increase from zero percent to 2% in 2017, according to the Singapore Tourism Board. Growth was 7.7% last year with a record 16.4 million tourists led by visitors from China, India and Indonesia, Bloomberg reported.
“We want to temper our expectations because we are fully cognizant of the fact that there are political and economic uncertainties that may have an impact on outbound travel,” Lionel Yeo, chief executive officer at Singapore Tourism Board, said at a briefing on Tuesday. "The board is still negotiating to keep the Formula 1 race in the city."
Singapore plans to remake Orchard Road, its main shopping district, develop more family-friendly attractions and boost marketing, the tourism board said in a statement.
Tourism has been one of the bright spots in an economy hit by a slump in global trade. The industry makes up about 4% of gross domestic product and has grown since the city-state opened its first two casino resorts in 2010.
Tourism receipts rose 13.9% to a record S$24.8 billion ($17.4 billion) in 2016. The introduction of the Michelin Guide Singapore as well as events hosted by Singapore, including the inaugural HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and music festival Ultra Singapore, helped boost spending.
Singapore forecast tourism receipts may rise up to 4% this year to as much as S$25.8 billion. The government last week unveiled a slew of strategies aimed at driving growth in the next decade.