Tourism in Singapore

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The historic Raffles Hotel is a national monument

Tourism in Singapore is a major industry and contributor to the Singaporean economy, attracting 15,231,469 international tourists in 2015, over thrice of Singapore's total population.[1] 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-storey shopping centres and hotels, can be considered the center of tourism in Singapore. Other popular tourist attractions include the Singapore Zoo, River Safari 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, while the River Safari, features 10 different ecosystems around the world, including the River Nile, Yangtze River, Mississippi, Amazon as well as the Tundra and has 300 species of animals, including numerous endangered species.[2]

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. Among the latest tourists attractions built in Singapore includes the two integrated resorts which houses casinos, namely Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa, a Universal Studios theme park and Gardens by the Bay.

Tourism statistics[edit]

Singapore Ducktours (part of RATP Group)

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 to 34 years old at 22.7% of visitors, followed by 21.8% for those aged 35–44 and 17.9% for those from 45 to 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.

General trends[edit]

Year Tourism Arrivals [1] Percentage change from previous period
1965 99,000  
1970 579,000 488.1%
1975 1,324,000 128.6%
1980 2,562,000 92.%
1985 3,031,000 18.3%
1990 5,323,000 75.6%
1995 7,137,000 34.1%
2000 7,691,399 7.76%
2005 8,943,029 16.27%
2010 11,638,663 30.14%
2015 15,231,469 30.86%

Recent years[edit]

Year Tourism Arrivals [1] Percentage change from previous year
2010 11,641,700 20.2%
2011 13,171,303 13.1%
2012 14,496,091 10.1%
2013 15,567,923 7.4%
2014 15,095,152 -3%
2015 15,231,469 0.9%

Top markets 2000–2010[edit]

Source: Singapore Tourism Board[3]

Country or territory 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
 Indonesia 1,313,316 1,364,380 1,393,020 1,341,747 1,765,324 1,813,569 1,922,217 1,962,055 1,765,429 1,745,330 2,305,149
 China 434,336 497,398 670,099 568,510 880,259 857,814 1,037,201 1,113,956 1,078,742 936,747 1,171,337
 Malaysia[4] 564,750 578,719 548,659 439,437 537,336 577,987 634,303 645,774 647,480 764,309 1,036,918
 Australia 510,347 550,681 538,408 392,906 561,163 620,255 691,632 768,490 833,156 830,299 880,486
 India 346,360 339,828 375,697 309,487 471,244 583,590 658,902 748,728 778,303 725,624 828,903
 Japan 929,895 755,766 723,431 434,087 598,840 588,535 594,406 594,514 571,040 489,987 528,817
 Philippines 181,032 190,630 195,564 176,585 245,918 319,971 386,119 418,775 418,938 432,072 544,344
 Hong Kong 285,975 276,157 265,970 226,260 271,691 313,831 291,474 302,110 278,115 294,420 387,552
 Thailand 246,750 260,958 263,866 235,826 341,989 379,040 356,367 353,416 333,905 317,905 430,022
 United States 385,585 343,805 327,648 250,678 333,156 371,440 399,786 408,885 396,631 370,704 416,990
 South Korea 354,353 359,083 371,050 261,403 361,083 364,206 454,722 464,292 423,018 271,987 360,673
 United Kingdom 444,976 460,018 458,528 387,982 457,262 467,154 488,167 495,693 492,933 469,756 461,714
 Vietnam 31,837 34,633 40,652 44,420 105,803 150,626 165,105 203,210 239,299 265,414 322,853
 Taiwan 290,904 222,087 209,321 144,942 182,443 213,959 219,463 208,156 175,924 156,761 191,173
 Germany 169,408 166,981 157,510 121,376 142,371 154,779 161,125 164,900 175,280 183,681 209,231

Top markets 2011–2015[edit]

Source: Singapore Tourism Board[5]

Country or territory 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
 Indonesia 2,592,222 2,837,537 3,088,859 3,025,178 2,731,690
 China 1,577,522 2,034,177 2,269,870 1,722,380 2,106,164
 Malaysia[4] 1,140,935 1,231,686 1,280,942 1,233,035 1,171,077
 Australia 956,039 1,050,373 1,125,179 1,074,878 1,043,568
 India 868,991 894,993 933,553 943,636 1,013,986
 Japan 656,417 757,116 832,845 824,741 789,179
 Philippines 677,723 656,804 687,794 676,481 673,374
 Hong Kong 464,375 472,167 539,810 631,029 609,888
 South Korea 414,879 445,184 471,768 536,975 577,082
 Thailand 472,708 477,654 497,409 506,509 516,409
 United States 440,576 477,213 491,946 484,912 499,509
 United Kingdom 442,611 446,497 461,459 451,931 473,810
 Vietnam 332,231 366,234 380,495 424,408 418,266
 Taiwan 238,488 282,203 350,308 337,431 378,026
 Germany 219,952 252,433 251,560 263,513 286,732

Sightseeing Bus fleet[edit]

Historically, their fleet were made up of second-hand step-entrance double deckers in 2001 - 2004 for the City Sightseeing/Singapore Ducktours operation in Singapore, but new open-top buses were arrived beginning January 2006. Their electronic destination displays were added since January 2006 to replace roller-blinds in stages, which uses Mobitec MobiLED in larger font.

  • 42 DAF DB250LF / Plaxton President (DLP201-219, 243-246, 250, 252-256, 258-259, 261-266, DP267-270)
  • 1 Volvo B7TL / Alexander ALX400 (VA45)
  • 7 Volvo B7L / Ayats Bravo City (VLY601-607)
  • 3 Ayats Bravo Integral (VLY821-823)
  • 43 Volvo B9TL / Optare Visionaire (VLE651-677, VXE721-736)

Sightseeing Bus Routes[edit]

Route Number & Colour Route Name Places served Duration of service (approx.) Other notes
670 The Loop Line ITE College East, Bugis MRT Station, North Bridge Commercial Complex, City Hall, Boat Quay, Chinatown, Clarke Quay, Liang Court, Hotel Miramar, Zion Food Centre, Botanic Gardens, Orchard Road, City Hall, Suntec City 62 minutes
T3
Green
Chinatown Tour Resorts World Sentosa, Shenton Way, Anson Road, Cecil Street, Raffles Place, Victoria Concert Hall, Raffles Hotel, Kampong Glam, V Hotel Lavender (ELD Training Centre) 40 minutes Two-way service
T6
Purple
Heritage Corridor Suntec Hub, Marina Bay Sands, Victoria Concert Hall, Bugis, Fu Lu Shou Complex, Mustafa Centre, Kallang Bahru 40–45 minutes Two-way service
T8
Brown
The Original Tour Singapore Flyer, Ritz-Carlton, Esplanade, Clifford Pier, Cross Street, Tanjong Pagar, Tiong Bahru, Havelock Road, Hotel Miramar, National Gallery of Singapore 65 minutes
T11
Lime
Stadium Wave Marina Bay Sands, Esplanade, Seating Gallery, Bugis MRT Station, Lavender MRT Station, Kallang MRT Station, Singapore Sports Hub 31 minutes
T18
Blue
Singapore Flyer, Ritz-Carlton, SMU, School of the Arts, Sim Lim Square, Victoria Street, Jalan Besar, Bencoolen, Middle Road, Raffles Hotel 42 minutes

Boat fleet[edit]

Shopping[edit]

Takashimaya Shopping Centre in Orchard Road

There are various shopping belts in Singapore, Marina Bay, Bugis Street, Chinatown, Geylang Serai, Kampong Gelam & Arab Street, Little India, North Bridge Road, Orchard Road, and The Suburbs.

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.

Island resorts[edit]

USS Entrance Archway
Marina Bay, with Marina Centre in the background.

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 and Madame Tussauds Singapore) The proposal of building the integrated resorts was controversial.

Cultural and historical landmarks[edit]

Sri Mariamman Temple, is Singapore's oldest Hindu temple located in Chinatown, Singapore

A former British colony, Singapore has various historical and cultural landmarks with British and regional influences in its architecture. Such cultural landmarks include the Masjid Sultan, one of Singapore's most important mosques which was completed in 1826, the Thian Hock Keng, one of Singapore's oldest temples, which was completed in 1839 and the Sri Mariamman Temple, which was built in 1827, making it the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore.[6] Other historical monuments include the Kranji War Memorial, Civilian War Memorial, Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall and Istana Kampong Glam.

Singapore has four major museums depicting the art and history of the country and of the region. The Asian Civilisations Museum specialises in the material history of China, Southeast Asia, South Asia and West Asia, from which the diverse ethnic groups of Singapore trace their ancestry, while the Peranakan Museum, the first of its kind in the world, explores Peranakan cultures in Singapore and other former Straits Settlements in Malacca and Penang, and other Peranakan communities in Southeast Asia.[7] Singapore's National Museum of Singapore is the oldest museum in the country, with its history dating back to 1849, mainly showcases collections of nation-building and the history of Singapore from the 14th century in a story-telling approach,[8] while the Singapore Art Museum is a contemporary art museum focusing on art practices in Singapore, Southeast Asia and Asia. Other smaller museums include Changi Museum, which showcases collection of paintings, photographs and personal effects donated by former POWs(Prisoners of War) during the Japanese Occupation of Singapore[9] and the Mint Museum of Toys, which has a collection of 3,000 toys and childhood memorabilia from the mid-19th century to mid-20th Century.

Nature sight-seeing[edit]

The monument to Chopin in the Singapore Botanic Gardens, just south of Symphony Lake.

Singapore has a variety of parks and projects which often feature its natural tropical environment.

Singapore has 3 zoos, namely, the Singapore Zoo, Night Safari and River Safari. The Singapore Zoo displays animals in 'open' naturalistic, spacious, landscaped enclosures separated from the visitors by hidden barriers, moats, and glass, with various shows and events occurring throughout the day to allow visitors to interact with the animals.[10] Night Safari is the world's first nocturnal zoo, set in a humid tropical forest that is only open at night, it is divided into seven geographical zones, which can be explored either on foot via four walking trails, or by tram. River Safari features a tropical rainforest setting[11] and features 10 different ecosystems around the world, with 5000 animals of 300 species. Among the main attractions in the River Safari is a pair of male and female giant pandas – Kai Kai (凯凯) and Jia Jia (嘉嘉)[12] – which are housed in a specially constructed climate-controlled enclosure which change throughout the four seasons emulating their original environment.[13]

Supertrees at Gardens by the Bay, at night.

Among the various gardens and parks located in the country, Singapore's Singapore Botanic Gardens, Jurong Bird Park and Gardens by the Bay are most popular amongst tourists. The Singapore Botanical Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is a 52 hectares tropical garden, among its main attractions includes the National Orchid collection with over 3000 types of orchids growing. Jurong Bird Park, is a bird zoo with extensive specimens of exotic bird life from around the world, including a flock of one thousand flamingos. The bird park is largest in the world in terms of the number of birds. Gardens By The Bay, designed as a series of large tropical leaf-shaped gardens, each with its own specific landscaping design, character and theme. Its main attractions are the two conservatories, the Flower Dome, which replicates a mild, dry climate and features plants found in the Mediterranean and other semi-arid tropical regions, and the Cloud Forest, which replicates the cool moist conditions found in tropical mountain regions between 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) and 3,000 metres (9,800 ft) above sea level, found in South-East Asia, Middle- and South America. Other main attractions include the Supertree Grove, which features tree-like structures, known as Supertrees that dominate the Gardens' landscape. They are vertical gardens that perform a multitude of functions, which include planting, shading and working as environmental engines for the gardens.

Singapore also has two ASEAN Heritage Parks, which are the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, an extensive nature reserve which covers much of the Bukit Timah Hill, and is the only remaining place where primary rainforest still exists on the island, and the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, which is known for its high variety of bird species, crabs, mudskippers and flora and fauna.

Pulau Ubin, is an offshore island where the last of undeveloped kampongs (villages) and wooden jetties, relaxed inhabitants, rich and preserved wildlife, abandoned quarries and plantations, and untouched nature still exists. One of the more popular spots on the island is, Chek Jawa, a previous coral reef 5000 years ago, where several ecosystems can be observed in one area.

Dining[edit]

Main article: Cuisine of Singapore

The cuisine of Singapore is often viewed by its 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".[14]

There is also a proliferation of fast-food chains, such as McDonald's, Pizza Hut, KFC, Burger King, Subway, Long John Silver's, and Mos Burger.

Halal and vegetarian food are also easily available.

Tourist events[edit]

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.[citation needed] 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.[15] Singapore hosted a round of the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship (Singapore Grand Prix).[16] 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.[1]. 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.[17]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "International Visitor Arrivals" (PDF). Singapore Tourism Board. Retrieved March 5, 2016. 
  2. ^ Wildlife Reserves Singapore Club (20 March 2013). "About River Safari" (PDF). Wildlife Reserves Singapore Club. Retrieved 27 November 2013. 
  3. ^ "Tourism Statistics Publications" (PDF). Singapore Tourism Board. Retrieved 2014-06-23. 
  4. ^ a b Excludes Malaysian citizens arriving by land.
  5. ^ "Tourism Statistics Publications" (PDF). Singapore Tourism Board. Retrieved January 4, 2016. 
  6. ^ "The Top 10 Singapore Landmarks - TripAdvisor". Trip Adviser. Retrieved December 7, 2016.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  7. ^ "Singapore’s Newest Museum Opens: showcasing the finest and most comprehensive Peranakan collection in the world" (Press release). Asian Civilizations Museum. 2008-04-17. 
  8. ^ Clara Chow, "National Museum opens after $132m makeover", The Straits Times, 8 December 2006
  9. ^ Nick Meo (2006-08-23). "Singapore war internee's art on show". BBC. 
  10. ^ Catharine E. Bell (January 2001). Encyclopedia of the World's Zoos. Taylor & Francis. p. 1155. ISBN 978-1-57958-174-9. 
  11. ^ Mustafa Shafawi, Hetty Musfira (21 May 2010). "Attractions of Asia's first river-themed park River Safari unveiled". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 20 October 2010. 
  12. ^ Relax – S'pore's giant pandas named Kai Kai and Jia Jia
  13. ^ Wildlife Reserves Singapore Staff. "River Safari – Official Page". Wildlife Reserves Singapore. Retrieved 8 October 2010. 
  14. ^ Ling, Catherine (April 14, 2010). "40 Singapore foods we can't live without". CNN. 
  15. ^ What's On in Singapore, YourSingapore.com.
  16. ^ http://www.formula1.com/news/6063.html
  17. ^ "Inaugural Youth Olympic Games will boost Singapore's tourism industry". Channel NewsAsia. 23 February 2008. 

External links[edit]