Singapore to focus on sustained growth

THE Annual Tourism Industry Conference, organised by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), was held recently at the Suntec Exhibition and Convention Centre bringing together industry professionals including Horwath HTL Asia Pacific.

Sentiment at the conference was very positive, with the Singapore Tourism Board reporting an exceptional 11.6 million visitor arrivals in 2010, which accounted for tourism receipts of approximately SGD18.8 billion ($14.8 billion) – 49 per cent growth over the challenging year of 2009.

This was fuelled by the opening of the two integrated resorts – Resorts World and Marina Bay Sands – and the introduction of a slew of tourism products including new attractions, hotels and international events, such as TravelRave. In the recent World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index 2011, Singapore came out tops in Asia Pacific, and was ranked in 10th place out of more than 130 countries. Competitiveness criteria include policy rules and regulations, infrastructure, safety and security and human resources.

Speaking at the conference, S Iswaran, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry, highlighted the need for Singapore to move away from quantity-driven tourism to focusing on quality and yield, in order to sustain the growth in the tourism sector.

With innovative ideas, an integrated approach within the industry and greater productivity, he is confident Singapore can ride on Asia’s momentum and position itself for the next phase of growth.

According to STB chief executive Aw Kah Peng the country is targeting to attract 12 to 13 million visitor arrivals in 2011, bringing in total tourism receipts of approximately SGD22 to 24 billion ($17 to 19 billion).

STB also unveiled its new innovative mobile app, YourSingapore Mobile Guide, which will be launched in May. Supported by StarHub, the new mobile guide will be free to download and to use, thus encouraging users to discover the various tourism product offerings in Singapore, from live events and places of interests, to dining options and shopping deals.

Over the last decades, specialist consulting company Horwath HTL Asia Pacific has been very involved in the hotel and tourism development in Singapore and has completed numerous hospitality-related projects in Singapore including market and financial feasibility for hotel development, large-scale project master planning, hotel valuation, asset management and market entry strategy.

Together with the Singapore Hotel Association, Horwath also publishes an annual study of hotel operations, which analyses the performance of hotels in Singapore, including monthly occupancy and average rate trends, geographic mix, market mix, reservations and labour statistics, as well as financial performance.