TOURISM figures released by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) have shown that the country welcomed a record number of visitors for October 2006, with numbers boosted by Muslim travellers looking to participate in Hari Raya celebrations – the Islamic festival that coincides with the Eid Al Fitr holiday.
Registering 15 per cent growth over the same period for 2005, the majority of Singapore’s 857,000 visitors arrived in the latter half of the month, indicating a strong interest in Hari Raya, with total amount of visitor days estimated to have reached 2.9 million – an increase of 15.4 percent in comparison to the same period last year.
Visitor numbers from the Middle East saw a substantial growth of over 40 percent in October 2006, compared to the same period in 2005.
“The Hari Raya festival is always a major attraction, particularly for Muslim visitors as Singapore celebrates the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan and the beginning of the Eid holiday,” says Ke-Wei Peh, area director for MEA Region, Singapore Tourism Board.
Tourism figures also benefited from additional religious holiday traffic during the month of October, with other travellers coming to Singapore for the celebration of the Hindu festival of Deepavali and the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival.
For the whole month of October, Singapore hotels recorded S$133.9 million ($87 million) in room revenue, an increase of 17.9 per cent on the previous year with hotel occupancy rates up 3.4 per cent on October 2005, reaching around 88 per cent.