Singapore tourist arrival increases but sees decrease in spending

Published on : Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Chinese tourists in SingaporeSingapore’s tourism sector is growing in terms of visitor arrivals and overall spending, but when it comes to “sightseeing, entertainment, and gaming”, receipts were down in 2016.


According to the Singapore Tourism Board, international visitor arrivals totaled 16.4 million last year, which is an eight percent increase from 2015’s numbers. The island city-state off southern Malaysia is home to two casino resorts, Genting’s Resorts World Sentosa, and Las Vegas Sands’ Marina Bay Sands.


The reason for Singapore’s gaming slide, however, can be attributed to a declining VIP base.

That’s largely due to China seemingly relaxing its crackdown on VIP junket operators in Macau. In 2016, Indonesia accounted for the most international arrivals to Singapore with 2.89 million travelers. China followed closely with 2.86 million, and Malaysia a distant third at 1.15 million.


Japan is currently in the process of planning its Integrated Resorts bill to authorize at least two commercial casino destinations. In Singapore, locals must pay $71 to walk into Resorts World or Marina Bay Sands. That keeps most citizens out, and restricts their gambling to the state-run lottery and sports pools and casino cruises that offer lower table minimums and slot wagers. Singapore taxes gross gaming revenue on premium players at 12 percent, and 22 percent on all others.


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