Singapore has been ranked second in Asia and sixth in the world by international visitor arrivals, maintaining its position as a top global destination for both leisure and business. The Lion City moves up one rank from 2015, posting a 4.1% increase from the 2015 Mastercard Global Destinations Cities Index. Bangkok takes the top spot for the second year running, followed by London and Paris.
Now in its seventh year of aggregating and analysing international travel data, the Mastercard Global Destinations Cities Index (GDCI) ranks 132 cities from around the world by overall tourist spend, total overnight visitors, pace of growth and volume within regions. The purpose of the index is to garner deeper understanding of the elements that drive growth or will drive growth in the future. Overall, the data shows that cross-border travel and spending continues to grow at a faster pace than the world GDP, indicating world’s cities are key drivers of economic growth.
According to the 2016 Index, Singapore is forecasted to receive 12.11 million visitors in 2016 (4.1% increase from last year), with over 77% of all visitors arriving for leisure/personal purposes. New to this year’s report are the spending breakdowns for each city, outlining the proportion of expenditure across key categories, including accommodation, F&B, shopping, local transport and local services (healthcare, medical, entertainment). It is projected that international visitor spending in Singapore will reach US$12.5 billion, with large proportions dedicated to local services (31.8% of total expenditure), accommodation (29.0% of total expenditure) and shopping (22.5% of total expenditure)
Singapore maintains its position as regional travel hub – faring strongly as an origin and feeder city in Asia/Pacific
The growth of destination cities depends critically on their ability to tap into feeder cities that are experiencing strong outbound tourism. Singapore’s success as a global destination is bolstered by a high number of arrivals from Asia/Pacific cities – 87% of its visitors originate from the region. Jakarta is Singapore’s top feeder city, and is also geographically the closest to Singapore – visitor numbers from Jakarta experienced a strong growth of 4.6% between 2015 and 2016.
Singapore’s top five feeder cities are all based in Asia / Pacific and include:
Jakarta – 1,403,000 visitors, US$1,799 million spend
Hong Kong – 543,000 visitors, US$658 million spend
Manila – 498,000 visitors, US$394 million spend
Tokyo – 497,000 visitors, US$460 million spend
Shanghai – 486,000 million visitors, US$459 million spend
As a feeder city, Singapore contributes strongly to arrivals in other Asian cities. In the case of top-ranked Bangkok, Singapore is its biggest feeder city, delivering an estimated 1,474,000 outbound travelers with a total spending power of US$768 million. Singapore is also the top ranked feeder city) for Kuala Lumpur (1,911,000 visitors, US$1,727,000 spend) posting the strongest growth at 22.1% between 2015 and 2016.
“The Mastercard Global Destinations Cities Index goes beyond collating figures on expenditure and arrivals, it uncovers the deeper stories of travelers across the world and the relative attractiveness of cities competing as destinations for work and play. Rankings can be reflective of each destination’s ability to reinvent themselves, or agility in leveraging hospitality trends to maintain their competitiveness,” said Deborah Heng, Country Manager, Mastercard Singapore. “Singapore has once again proved itself to be one of the most popular travel destinations in the world, indicating an accelerating pace of progression credited to improving infrastructure and immersive cultural experiences.”
Asia Pacific Focus
The Asia / Pacific region dominates both the global Top 10 (five cities) and Top 10 fastest growing destination cities (six cities). Forecasted overnight visitors to the top ten cities in the Asia / Pacific region are:
· Bangkok – 21.47 million
· Singapore – 12.11 million visitors
· Kuala Lumpur – 12.02 million visitors
· Tokyo – 11.70 million visitors
· Seoul – 10.20 million visitors
· Hong Kong – 8.37 million visitors
· Taipei – 7.35 million visitors
· Osaka – 7.02 million visitors
· Shanghai – 6.12 million visitors
· Mumbai – 4.86 million visitors