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Singapore tourism receipts down 1.3% in Q2 despite rise in arrivals

SPENDING by visitors to Singapore declined 1.3 per cent to S$6.5 billion in the second quarter of 2019 from the same period last year, despite a 1.7 per cent rise in international arrivals to 4.6 million, according to Singapore Tourism Board figures on Wednesday.

This was nonetheless an improvement from the first quarter, when tourist spending fell 4.8 per cent.

The latest quarterly figures bring tourism receipts for the first six months of 2019 to S$13.1 billion, down 3 per cent from the year-ago period. This was despite a 1.3 per cent rise in international arrivals to 9.3 million for the first half of the year.

For the second quarter, the decline in receipts was due to lower spending in areas such as accommodation; food and beverage; and sightseeing, entertainment, and gaming.

However, shopping - which accounts for about a fifth of tourist spending - rose 11 per cent, while other tourism receipt components held steady.

In the second quarter, the top three markets for tourism receipts remained the same, led by China, which contributed S$897 million. Indonesia and India accounted for S$757 million and S$478 million in spending respectively. This excludes expenditure on sightseeing, entertainment, and gaming.

These were also the top three markets for tourist arrivals in the first six months, with 1.81 million visitors from China, 1.49 million from Indonesia, and 747,000 from India.

In the second quarter, gazetted hotel room revenue was steady at S$1 billion, down a marginal 0.1 per cent. Average occupancy rate held firm at 85 per cent, while the average room rate edged down 1 per cent to S$211. Revenue per available room was dipped 1 per cent to S$178.

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