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Singapore visitor arrivals inch up month on month in September to 9,500 travellers

INTERNATIONAL travel to Singapore kept up a subdued climb in September, with 9,500 visitors arriving in the Republic for the month, according to Singapore Tourism Board (STB) data.

The figure is a modest 6.6 per cent increase from August and continues the uptrend seen since May, after the full impact of Covid-19 border controls hit inbound travel. Still, it is a far cry from the 1.46 million arrivals in the same month the year before.

Meanwhile, room revenue in the badly-affected hotel industry came to S$58 million in September, down by 84.4 per cent year on year.

Hoteliers took in revenue per available room (RevPAR) of S$72 in September, a dip from S$72.8 in the month prior, but a sharp drop from S$205.4 in September 2019.

Average occupancy fell on a monthly basis for the third straight month to 60.2 per cent, from 62.3 per cent in August, even as the standard average room rate ticked up to S$119.6 in September, from S$116.8 in August.

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On a year-on-year basis, industry RevPAR was down by 65 per cent, while occupancy was lower by 26.9 percentage points from 87.1 per cent previously.

Similar to the trend in August, occupancy was highest for gazetted hotels in the economy segment, at 76.4 per cent. Luxury hotels reported the next-highest level of occupancy at 57.5 per cent, followed by mid-tier hotels at 54 per cent and then upscale hotels at 46.3 per cent.

Under its tiering system, the STB categorises mid-tier hotels as those primarily located in prime commercial zones or immediately outlying areas, while upscale hotels tend to either be in prime locations or have "boutique positioning".

More than two-thirds of September's arrivals hailed either from South-east Asia - mainly Indonesia and Malaysia - or from the Greater China region, largely mainland China.

The STB defines international visitors as people who spend less than a year in Singapore. This excludes returning citizens, permanent residents and pass holders, Malaysians arriving by land, non-resident air and sea crew, and air transit passengers.

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