Singapore sees year of transformation

Marina Bay Sands

A RECORD number of travellers from the UAE visited Singapore last year with a 14 per cent rise in visitor numbers arriving in the Asian dynamo from the emirates totalling 56,474 travellers, according to year-end figures collated by Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

The increase in arrivals from the UAE was matched by a 20 per cent rise in world-wide visitor numbers which reached a record 11.6 million in 2010, up from 9.7 million in 2009.

Aided by improving global economic conditions, travellers flocked to experience Singapore’s landmark year of transformation which saw the opening of a wide range of tourist attractions including two multi-billion-dollar integrated resorts and a slew of internationally acclaimed creative and sporting events.

The tourism industry’s 2010 rebound saw receipts rise by an impressive 49 per cent on 2009 figures hitting an all time high of $14.7 billion, exceeding the year’s forecast range of $13.6 billion to $14.4 billion.

Sightseeing and entertainment saw the largest growth in receipts with a 1,893 per cent increase, followed by a 25 per cent rise in receipts for accommodation and a 23 per cent rise on food and beverage receipts.  

“2010 was a landmark year in Singapore’s continual evolution as a travellers’ destination.

Ong...landmark year

“From Southeast Asia’s first Universal Studios theme park at Resorts World Sentosa to the world’s longest infinity pool at Marina Bay Sands to the world’s first Youth Olympic Games, travellers were able to enjoy a host of new enriching experiences,” said Jason Ong, area director Middle East and Africa, STB.    

“Singapore’s tourism offering will continue to evolve this year with the completion of groundbreaking projects such as the first phase of the 101 hectare ‘Gardens by the Bay’ which will transform Singapore into a ‘City in a Garden.’ Our integrated resorts will also continue their rollout with new projects such as the launch of the world’s first ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands and the Maritime Xperiential Museum at Resorts World Sentosa,” Ong concluded.                

Overall 147,000 visitors arrived from the Middle East to Singapore in 2010 compared with 117,000 in 2009. Of these 12,631 came from Saudi Arabia, up 17 per cent on 2009, 8,368 came from Kuwait, an increase of 46 per cent on 2009, and from Qatar the number was 6,522, up 21 per cent on 2009.