Singapore Eyes 10 Pct Rise In Visitors

March 24, 2012

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Singapore hopes to attract up to 10 percent more visitors this year, second minister for trade and industry S. Iswaran said on Friday, helped by an increase in cruise tourism.

"STB (Singapore Tourism Board) is projecting visitor arrivals to be between 13.5 and 14.5 million this year, an increase of up to 10 percent from 2011," Iswaran said at a tourism conference, according to speech notes provided to reporters.

The board also expects tourism receipts to reach SGD$23 billion to SGD$24 billion (USD$18.95 billion) this year, a rise of up to 8 percent from last year's SGD$22.2 billion, he added.

Iswaran identified cruises as a growth area, helped by the development of more fly-cruise itineraries that make use of Singapore's strategic position as a key Asian gateway.

Singapore has seen a boom in tourism in recent years, helped by the hosting of high-profile events such as the Formula One night race and the opening of two multi-billion dollar casino resorts in 2010.

Last year, the Southeast city-state welcomed a record 13.2 million visitors, state broadcaster Channel NewsAsia said earlier this week.

(Reuters)