Tourism in Singapore
Tourism in Singapore is a major industry and contributor to the Singaporean economy, attracting 13,171,303 tourists in 2011, over twice Singapore's total population. It is also environmentally friendly, and maintains natural and heritage conservation programs. Along with this, it also has one of the world's lowest crime rates. As English is the dominant one of its four official languages, it is generally easier for tourists to understand when speaking to the local population of the country, for example, when shopping. Transport in Singapore exhaustively covers most, if not all public venues in Singapore, which increases convenience for tourists. This includes the well-known Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system.
The Orchard Road district, which is dominated by multi-story shopping centres and hotels, can be considered the center of tourism in Singapore. Other popular tourist attractions include the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari, which allows people to explore Asian, African and American habitats at night without any visible barriers between guests and the wild animals. The Singapore Zoo has embraced the 'open zoo' concept whereby animals are kept in enclosures, separated from visitors by hidden dry or wet moats, instead of caging the animals.
Jurong Bird Park is another zoological garden centred on birds, which is dedicated towards exposing the public to as much species and varieties of birds from around the world as possible, including a flock of one thousand flamingos. The tourist island of Sentosa, which attracts 19 million visitors in 2011, is located in the south of Singapore, consists of about 20–30 landmarks, such as Fort Siloso, which was built as a fortress to defend against the Japanese during World War II.
Guns from the World War II era can be seen at Fort Siloso, from a mini-sized to a 16 pound (7 kg) gun. Moreover, the island has built the Tiger Sky Tower, which allows visitors to view the whole of Sentosa, as well as the Sentosa Luge, a small one- or two-person sled on which one sleighs supine and feet-first. Steering is done by shifting the weight or pulling straps attached to the sled's runners. Singapore has two integrated resorts which house casinos, namely Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa.
Singapore attracted a record 11,638,663 visitors according to the Singapore Tourism Board's statistics, but which excludes Malaysian visitors who visited Singapore via the Causeway or the Second Link. This was a 20.2% increase over 2009, reversing two years of negative growth due to the global financial crisis of 2008–2009.
Total visitor days was a record 44.9 million days, a growth of 17.1%, or an average of 3.86 days per visitor. 22.3% of visitors were day-trippers (less than one day), 19.7% stayed for one day, 17.6% stayed for two days, 14.7% for three days, and the rest for 4 days and above. 76.0% of visitors arrived by air, 10.9% by sea, and 13.2% by land. The largest age group of visitors was from 25–34 years old at 22.7% of visitors, followed by 21.8% for those aged 35–44 and 17.9% for those from 45–54 years old.
Over half (53%) of visitors came from the five biggest markets, mainly Indonesia (2,305,149), People's Republic of China (1,171,337), Malaysia (1,036,918), Australia (880,486) and India (828,903). Other major markets include the Philippines (544,344), Japan (528,817), the United Kingdom (461,714), Thailand (430,022) and the United States of America (416,990).
Tourism receipts was estimated to reach S$18.8 billion in 2010, a growth of 49% compared to 2009, with Shopping and Sightseeing/Entertainment accounting for 21% of total expenditure each, Accommodation making up 19%, and Food and Beverage another 10%. Medical receipts, representing the medical-tourism industry the country was trying to promoted, contributed 5%. In particular, Sightseeing/Entertainment, which included expenditure at the two new Integrated Resorts, grew by 1,834%.
Gazetted hotel room revenue was estimated at S$1.9 billion, an increase of 21.8% over 2009. The overall average occupancy rate was at 86%, 9.8% more than 2009, with the Economy tier seeing the largest increase of 15.6%. Overall average room rate was at S$212, an increase of 12.2%, while the overall revenue per available room was S$182, an increase of 26.6% over 2009.
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Top markets 2000–2013
Source: Singapore Tourism Board
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Sightseeing Bus fleet
- 4 Scania L94UB (Open-Top) Low Floor, non-WAB, Wuhan Lorry (Brown TOSST, PA4685C), Zhaoding Raddish (Brown TOSST, PA4709T), Russell Rocks (Brown TOSST, PA5418B) and Wenjiao Choh (Brown TOSST, PA5420T).
- 9 Scania K230UB (Open-Top) Smiley Ricky (PA6432C), General Eclipse (PA6433A), Siding Teo (PA7143E), Solar Moon (PA7187D), Cleobe Toh (PA7316Z), Stylo Kim (PA9585A), OK Lim (PA9587U), Easy Tan (PA9800D) and Bayson Huiyee (PA9916D)
- 4 Scania K280IB Monster Rhino, High Deck Blubee, Vader and Goldie.
- 2 Volvo B9TL (Optare Visionaire) (2 for Hippo Tours, sooner for Golden Tours)
- 5 Condiesel Larc V
Singapore seeks to be the business hub of Southeast Asia and has an expansive shopping precinct located in the Orchard Road district. Many multistorey shopping centres are located at Orchard Road; the area also has many hotels, and it's the main tourism centre of Singapore, other than the Downtown Core. The local populace also use Orchard Road for shopping extensively.
Sentosa is a relatively large island of Singapore located to its south. Along with a beach-front resort, the island's tourist attractions include Fort Siloso, its historical museum, the Underwater World aquarium and the Tiger Sky Tower. Singapore also features two casinos (integrated resorts), one the Marina Bay Sands and the other, Resorts World Sentosa (home to Universal Studios Singapore) The proposal of building Singapore Casinos in these resorts was controversial.
Singapore has a variety of parks and projects which often feature its natural tropical environment.
Pulau Ubin, an island offshore Singapore, is slowly becoming a popular tourist spot. The nature wildlife there is left undisturbed.
River Safari is the latest attraction in Singapore which allows people to get up-close with river animals in major rivers around the world such as the Mississippi, Congo, Murray, Ganges, Mekong, Amazon, Nile and the Yangtze River.
The cuisine of Singapore is often viewed by her population as a prime example of the ethnic diversity of the culture of Singapore. In Singapore's hawker centres – a technical misnomer, to be precise – for example, traditionally Malay hawker stalls selling halal food may serve halal versions of traditionally Tamil or Chinese food. Chinese stalls may introduce Malay or Indian ingredients, cooking techniques or entire dishes into their range of catering. Some dishes introduce elements from all three cultures, while others incorporate influences from the rest of Asia and the West.
This phenomenon makes the cuisine of Singapore significantly rich and a cultural attraction. Much prepared food is available in the hawker centres or food courts (e.g. Lau Pa Sat, Newton Food Centre) rather than actual restaurants. These centres are relatively abundant which often leads to low prices, and encourages a large consumer base.
Food in itself has been heavily promoted as an attraction for tourists, and is usually promoted by various initiatives undertaken by the Singapore Tourism Board or the associations it deals with as one of Singapore's best attractions alongside shopping. The government organises the Singapore Food Festival in July annually to celebrate Singapore's cuisine. The multiculturalism of local food, the ready availability of international cuisine, and their wide range in prices to fit all budgets at all times of the day and year helps create a "food paradise" to rival other contenders claiming the same moniker. The availability of variety of food is often aided by the fact Singapore's port lies along strategic routes. Catherine Ling of CNN listed Fish soup bee hoon, Bak kut teh, Chilli crab, Nasi Padang, Hainanese chicken rice,and Kaya toast as some of the "40 Singapore foods we can't live without".
Singapore Tourism Board promotes a variety of events all year round for tourists. Some of the anchor events are the Chingay Parade, Singapore Arts Festival and Singapore Garden Festival. The Singapore Food Festival is held every July to celebrate Singapore's cuisine. Other annual events include the Singapore Sun Festival, the Christmas Light Up, and the Singapore Jewel Festival. Singapore hosted a round of the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship (Singapore Grand Prix). The race, held on a new street circuit at Marina Bay, was the first night-time event in Formula One history. The event was considered an overall success due to the sheer amount of organisation, planning and hard work put into the event.. Also in 2010, Singapore hosted the inaugural Youth Olympic Games, where the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), which say the Games is expected to generate a minimum of 180,000 visitor nights for Singapore.
Rejuvenation of the city
To compete with its many Asian rivals such as Hong Kong, Tokyo, Manila and Shanghai, the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore has announced that the city would be transformed into a more vibrant and exciting place with more buzz by lighting up the city completely. The purpose of this is to attract more tourists. This would make Singapore livelier and help to create a captivating night scene to increase Singapore's appeal and high-ranking status in the world. The most prominent transformation of the city would be its city skyline in the Central Business District (CBD). By 2009, every skyscraper in the CBD would be lit up with bright and colourful neon lights that would change from time to time, festive occasions and events. Waterfront shows would also be held daily during the night.
The many changes to the four main sections of the city at night include:
- Orchard Road: Vibrant building facades that would jazz up shopping experiences, funky touches such as street seating that changes colours when someone sits down and trees that are brightly lit to promote Singapore as a Garden City.
- Singapore River: This includes Clarke Quay and Boat Quay. "Jellyfish" lights would float in the river at Boat Quay. Banks and walls of the river would be illuminated, adding to ambience, and brightly lit-up river-taxis. Underpass along the stretch of 3 km would be lit up with various designs and murals.
- Bras Basah and Bugis: Highlighting gateways and focal entry points with innovative light-integrated sculptures and markers would increase the feeling that a person is in a fun and vibrant entertainment hub. There would be more luminous signboards, 3D "art-vertisements" and animations on walls. Well-designed neon advertisements would also be put up.
- CBD and Marina Bay: This area is the centre-piece of the whole project. There would be white street lights, instead of the current orange-yellow, to help make people feel that the place is more of an ultra-modern financial hub. There would be the lighting plan of the city skyline, Marina Bay Financial Centre and Integrated Resort. Lights on skyscrapers would also change time to time, with music in the streets and water shows by the bay to add more life and vibrancy.
- Visa policy of Singapore
- Communications in Singapore
- Culture of Singapore
- History of Singapore
- History of the Republic of Singapore
- Landmark sites in Singapore
- Media of Singapore
- Singapore Tourism Board
- Transport in Singapore
- Key Statistical Information
- "Tourism Statistics Publications". Singapore Tourism Board. Retrieved 2014-06-23.
- Excludes Malaysian citizens arriving by land.
- Ling, Catherine (April 14, 2010). "40 Singapore foods we can't live without". CNN.
- What's On in Singapore, YourSingapore.com.
- "Inaugural Youth Olympic Games will boost Singapore's tourism industry". Channel NewsAsia. 23 February 2008.
- "Let Bright Ideas Light Up Singapore" (Press release). Urban Renewal Authority. 27 March 2006. Retrieved 22 April 2010.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Singapore.|
- Library resources in your library and in other libraries about Tourism in Singapore
- Singapore Tourism Board
- YourSingapore.com – The official destination website of Singapore