Tourism contribution to Singapore economy.

Tourism contribution to Singapore economy.

Tourism contribution to Singapore economy.

Located in the Southern part of Malay Peninsula, Singapore nicknamed “Lion City” is a sovereign state and island country in S.E Asia. Within its area of 719.9 km2, this state has a population of 5,607,300. As a small nation with limited resources, Singapore strategised to develop itself as a trading and tourism country. In 2013 alone, 15.6 million tourists visited the country, generating revenue of USD 18.8 billion. This makes tourism a significant contributor to the country GDP. In this article, we shall look at how this industry is playing a role to make Singapore one of the economic giants in Asia.

Unlike the majority of top tourism countries, Singapore tourism base is built upon human-made resources. The representatives include Sensota, Orchard and night safari which allow visitors to view animals at night. Gambling is also popular in this country. As a primary stimulator of economic growth, tourism is closely associating with retail trade, construction, entertainment, hotel, and restaurants. These industries contribute to the economy both directly and indirectly.

Why use GDP as an indicator of tourism performance?

GDP is the monetary value of all finished goods and services produced within a country borders and in a given period, usually on a yearly basis. Therefore GDP includes all private and public consumption, investments, exports and government outlay. With that in mind, it’s clear that GDP is the most visualise indicator of how a particular sector is performing.

In 2013, the direct contribution of tourism and the associated industry, transport was 19.1 Singapore dollars. The number of visitors than was 15.6 million. Last year, 2016, the number has swollen to 16.4 million a 7.7% increase compared to 2015 figures. The GDP rose to $24.8 million a reliable indicator that visitors like what they get and usually come back to get more mainly on food and beverages, shopping and accommodation.

For a country receiving triple its size in visitors, employment becomes another indicator of how the tourism industry is performing. In Singapore, jobs are creating tourism in direct and indirect ways. Direct ways include hotel and catering while transport is an indirect way. In 2006, 140 million jobs were created in Asia accounting for 9% of total employment. According to International Labor Organization, a large percentage of the female employee in service industry engages in the hospitality industry.

In 2014 travel and tourism industry created 295,620 jobs which constitute 8.7% of total employment.  Service industry provided 2.96 million jobs, 67.3%, followed by manufacturing, 19.8% and construction 12.2%. Under tourism, the multiplier effect is high with every USG spend by tourist generating 1.97 USG and 1.05 USG in incomes.

Major contributors of Singapore visitors

In 2016, Indonesia continued to rank top in tourism receipt with 2.9 million visitors, 200,000 more than the preceding year, followed closely by China with 2.864 million visitors also an improvement from 2015 figures, then Malaysia, Australia and India to make the top 5 list for Singapore visitors arrivals.

The most substantial decline came from Hong Kong, mainly due to a weaker performing economy in 2016, followed by Malaysia, South Korea, and Japan. Western Australia decline in number was caused by the region slowing mining industry. For Japan and South Korea, the reduction was observed in the last quarter of the year following the news of Singapore Zika virus outbreak.

The government of Singapore is coming up with several measures for enhancing destination attractiveness. Here are some of the fields that the government have channelled inputs.

Made the country accessible

Traffic is a major challenge in many congested nations. The government of Singapore has and is investing to ease traffic ensuring that visitors get more pleasant experience with goods and services deliver fast and efficiently. Also, Electronic Road Pricing is another measure where motorist using a particular route pay extra. The same goes with Certificate of Entitlement encouraging people to use public transport instead of owning private motor whose high number results to high traffic.

Better environment

With the population of Singapore on the rise, it’s hard to ignore the fact that environmental degradation is imminent. Holistic measures have been put in place, especially on land planning to provide adequate housing and living quarter to both visitors and locals. The overwhelming number of tourist also put a lot of pressure on the country limited resources. To mitigate such a vast mass, the state environmental degradation policies have been formulating and implement.

Providing a wider taste and preference to the tourist

Humans have different taste and preference when it comes to entertainment. As an effort to ensure that everyone gets something they like, the government has put effort to attract major sports event such as Formula one, Olympic Games, HSBC World Rugby Sevens to act as incentives for people around the world. STB supported more than 410 business event in 2016. This is 15% increase y-o-y growth. These events attracted 343,000 visitors generating USD 622 million in tourism receipts.

With such a small land, Singapore has invested in creating human-made attractions, e.g. casinos at Integrated Resort and Garden by the Bay to boost tourist despite lack of natural attractions.

Jester, Tiger Airways, AirAsia are some of the affordable flight which one can use to get or fly out of Singapore. The availability of several airlines with different class brings about competition to the benefit of the tourist. The cruise industry brought 10 maidens, 1.2 million passengers winning the country title such as “Top Cruise Destination” at Seatrade Cruise Awards

All the above measures have been put under Singapore Tourism Board (STB) which oversee their implementation. It also champions to build an exciting and innovative experience for the visitors ensuring that the country remains unique and a compelling destination for tourist. For example, the government recently invested $700 million to boost tourism over the next five years. This fund aims to tackle short-term challenges such as uncertainties in the global market while strategising Singapore for long-term growth. STB project that the country will earn $25.1-$25.8 this year, with visitors expected to reach more than 16.6 million.

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