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Singapore tourism receipts up 2% in H1 14, while tourist arrivals fall 3%

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Tourism receipts grew 2 per cent year on year in the first half of this year to S$11.8 billion, even as visitor arrivals to Singapore fell 3 per cent to 7.5 million - PHOTO: SPH

TOURISM receipts grew 2 per cent year on year in the first half of this year to S$11.8 billion, even as visitor arrivals to Singapore fell 3 per cent to 7.5 million.

Stripping out China, visitor arrivals from all other markets were up 2 per cent in H1 14.

But in Q2 14, tourism receipts were down 3 per cent year on year to S$5.6 billion while visitor arrivals declined a sharper 6 per cent to 3.6 million. The fall in receipts in the second quarter came on the back of lower shopping expenditure from markets such as China, Indonesia and Malaysia, which was partially offset by growth in sightseeing, entertainment and gaming spend, said the Singapore Tourism Board.

New tourism laws in China, implemented in October last year, which clamp down on "zero-dollar tours" that hit tourists with surprise fees have contributed to falling tourist volumes from China. The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in March this year, the political tensions in Thailand and the spate of kidnappings in Sabah have also affected tourism demand from the market. Chinese tourists typically travel to Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand as part of a multi-destination tour.

Meanwhile, gazetted hotel room revenue worked out to about S$0.8 billion, up 5.2 per cent, in Q2 14 and S$1.6 billion, which is 9.1 per cent higher, for H1 14.

For the six months, average room rate across the hotel industry edged up 1.2 per cent to S$258, while average occupancy slipped 1.3 percentage points to 85 per cent. Revenue per available room came to S$218, down marginally by 0.4 per cent.