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Singapore tourism boss confident on arrivals

Profile Photo By: Steve Shellum
September 18, 2015

Singapore tourism boss confident on arrivals

Singapore - Nov 19: The new Marina Bay Sands resort and the Singapore Flyer ferris wheel on a late afternoon on November 19, 2010 in Singapore
Singapore arrival figures on track

Singapore is sticking to its forecast for more than 15 million visitor arrivals this year, encouraged by a spurt in travellers from China and India in July, the head of its tourism board said, despite a subdued first half.

The city-state, which is preparing for the eighth edition of its annual Formula One weekend frenzy under a pall of smoke from fires in neighbouring Indonesia, last year posted the first fall in visitor arrivals since 2009 and missed its own estimate.

For 2015, it expects 15.1-15.5 million travellers. ?That’s something we are still on target to achieve,? Lionel Yeo, chief executive of the Singapore Tourism Board, told Reuters in an interview. ?We are somewhat hopeful that we have turned a corner.?

July arrivals rose 7.7 percent, but were still down 1.7 percent in the first seven months.

Yeo said Singapore was comfortable with a moderate annual growth rate of 3-4 percent over the medium term.

Falling tourism has hurt January-July room rates, which dipped 5.5 percent.

Average revenue per available room was S$205, with the key industry measure poised for its lowest showing since 2010. Room rates are expected to continue to fall, hurting the outlook for hospitality real estate investment trusts.

Hasira De Silva, a director at Fitch Ratings in Singapore, said: ?We expect there to be negative pressure on RevPar, particularly for the Singapore assets of hospitality REITs over the next one to two years.?

Hotel room supply is set to grow about 20 percent by 2018.

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