Robust growth in Singapore's tourism sector over the past decade

The 2000s saw Singapore’s tourism sector overcoming SARS in 2003 and weathering the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 to 2009. The decade also witnessed the introduction of major tourism projects like the two Integrated Resorts and the hosting of the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix. These lent fresh impetus to visitor arrivals and spending, and were accompanied by a surge in lifestyle offerings in dining, entertainment, retail and hospitality.

The transformation of the tourism landscape brought with it record growth in tourism performance. In the ten-year period from 2002 to 2012, Singapore’s tourism receipts grew at a compounded annual growth rate of 10 per cent and visitor arrivals at 6.6 per cent.


Looking Ahead: Salient Trends

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) recognises that the environment in which Singapore operates is an ever-evolving one, and increasingly challenging. The traveller to Singapore is now more discerning, competition for the tourism pie is intensifying, the growth of Singapore’s total workforce is slowing down, and there is a need to acknowledge the stronger nexus between the tourism sector and local resident population.

Pursuit of Quality Tourism

Amidst the trends, opportunities, and challenges, STB envisions the type and nature of tourism development it wishes to pursue as Quality Tourism. This model of development comprises three key dimensions of success:

  • The first dimension of success sees tourism as continuing to be an important economic driver for Singapore;
  • The second dimension of success is that tourism development will result in productive and innovative industries and firms that create good jobs for Singaporeans;
  • The third dimension of success sees continuing efforts to nurture public engagement and participation as part of tourism development.

In order to secure Quality Tourism growth, the STB will pursue medium term strategies and approaches in four pathways:

  1. Pursuing a yield-driven marketing approach
  2. Enhancing destination attractiveness
  3. Supporting industry competitiveness
  4. Building local engagement

For further details of STB’s views on what such quality growth could look like in the next decade, please refer to the Tourism Industry Conference Paper titled "Navigating the Next Phase of Tourism Growth​".

In its pursuit of Quality Tourism, STB understands it can neither work in isolation nor spearhead all aspects of development in Singapore's tourism sector alone. Collaborating with and supporting other public agencies and the private sector is vital for the sector's success. In line with its aim of supporting industry competitiveness, STB supports, incentivises and catalyses private sector to take the lead in investing for sector growth. The areas of facilitation include product, industry and capability development. STB also offers financial assistance in the form of various grant schemes and tax incentives.