STB said it expects the tourism sector’s recovery to continue in 2024, driven by improved global flight connectivity and capacity as well as the implementation of the mutual 30-day visa-free travel between China and Singapore.
Singapore and China had agreed to a 30-day mutual visa-free entry for their citizens last week.
Under the agreement, Singaporeans and Chinese citizens holding ordinary passports can enter China or Singapore without a visa for no more than 30 days if they are travelling for business, sightseeing, visiting friends and family, or other private affairs.
The arrangement will formally start on Feb 9, the eve of Chinese New Year.
“In 2024, international flight capacity is expected to continue to increase, with capacity at or approaching pre-pandemic levels for the majority of our key source markets,” STB said.
International visitor arrivals are expected to reach around 15 to 16 million in 2024, bringing in approximately S$26.0 billion to S$27.5 billion in tourism receipts.
Geopolitical uncertainty, the state of the global economy and other factors such as the continued restoration of flight connectivity will have bearing on the pace of travel recovery, STB added.
“To sustain our growth in 2024 and beyond, STB will focus on achieving quality tourism, cultivating strategic partnerships, investing in new and refreshed products and experiences, and supporting stakeholders in building capabilities,” said STB chief executive Melissa Ow.
KEY INDUSTRY PERFORMANCES
In the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) sector, STB said it secured several significant business events that took place in Singapore for the first time last year.
These include the 25th World Congress of Dermatology 2023, Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) Global Conference 2023, and the International Trademark Association (INTA) 2023 Annual Meeting Live+.
For leisure events, STB in 2023 hosted the debut of ART SG, Southeast Asia’s largest art fair, in conjunction with the Singapore Art Week.
For hotels, the average room rate and revenue per available room exceeded 2019 levels. Average room rate reached S$282, which is about 128 per cent of the rate in 2019, while revenue per available room reached S$226, which is about 118 per cent of the figure in 2019.
Average Occupancy Rate was 80.1 per cent in 2023, compared to 86.9 per cent in the same period in 2019.
The hotel industry’s performance in 2023 was driven by stronger demand for leisure and business travel, STB said.
For cruises, Singapore reached a record 2 million passenger throughput received from more than 340 ship calls since the opening of the Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore.
STB had also announced in 2023 its partnership with Disney Cruise Line to make Singapore the exclusive home port for its new Disney Cruise Line vessel for at least five years from 2025.
STB also introduced new attractions and enhanced experiences in 2023 including Go-Kart at Sentosa, Bird Paradise, and the world’s first surf-snow-skate attraction TRIFECTA.