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Singapore Sees Slower Growth In Visitor Arrivals In 2012

Arrival of tourists in Singapore is expected to grow at a slower rate this year, amid a challenging external environment and persisting domestic constraints, S Iswaran, Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade & Industry said at a tourism conference.

According to the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), tourist arrivals in the country is expected to rise to 13.5-14.5 million in 2012, marking a slower growth compared to the 13.8 percent rise recorded last year, the minister said.

However, the rise of Asia in recent years has helped the tourism industry to continue to offer opportunities in the region even in a constrained economic environment, the minister said. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) projects tourism to be centered in Asia in 2012, but forecasts global tourism growth to moderate from 6.6 percent to about 3 percent over the next few years, with the world economy remaining sluggish.

The STB has projected tourism receipts to rise to S$23-S$24 billion in 2012, up by around 8 percent from last year's S$22.2 billion. Singapore should expand its tourism industry by increasing foreign spend rather than just visitor arrivals, the minister said.

"There is significant scope to foster such yield-driven growth and create good jobs for Singaporeans - if we work together to re-engineer our tourism landscape, move up the value chain and seize growth opportunities", Iswaran said.

by RTT Staff Writer

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