Tourist arrivals to Singapore are holding up despite uncertainty in the global economy, but visitors are spending more cautiously, latest statistics from the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) show.
There was a marked deceleration in the growth of tourism expenditure however, slowing to 7% and valued at SG$11.5 billion (US$9.4 billion)January to June, which CIMB economist Song Seng Wun said reflected the different profiles of visitors arriving there.
Speaking to the Malaysian Insider, Mr Song said travellers coming from Indonesia or Malaysia might stay with family or friends and not in hotels, and they are also more cautious about what they spend.
The second quarter of the year saw growth for most components making up tourism receipts, like shopping and accommodation. The exception was receipts from sightseeing and entertainment, including gaming, which fell by 7% to SG$1.2 billion.
Observers attribute this to the fading novelty factor of the integrated resorts which perhaps do not inspire repeat visitors. These operators now face the challenge of retaining business after the initial opening hype.
The tourism outlook in Singapore remains positive regardless, and with growth rate remaining very strong it could be another record year for visitor arrivals, following 13.2 million in 2011.