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Singapore Tourism Board to provide Flash Estimates for Monthly Visitor Arrivals

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) announced that it will provide flash estimates on expected visitor arrival numbers each…

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) announced that it will provide flash estimates on expected visitor arrival numbers each month to the tourism industry to assist them in business planning as the tourism industry continues to recover from SARS. The flash estimates will be in addition to the release of actual monthly visitor arrival numbers released at the end of each month.

The STB had previously announced that there were already encouraging signs that a recovery in tourism numbers is underway, with a 47% increase in visitor arrivals estimated for June compared to May, and substantial percentage increases in visitor numbers from key markets including South Korea, Hong Kong, China, USA, Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia.

The latest figures also show that the rate of decline in visitor numbers compared to a year ago had slowed drastically and that the gap between arrivals this year and last year is rapidly closing. In May, the number of visitor arrivals was down 70% on May 2002. However, in June, the gap is estimated to only be -56% on a year-on-year basis.

During the period when Singapore was on the WHO list of SARS-affected countries, the STB had been releasing weekly visitor arrival numbers to keep the industry fully informed on the tourism situation. STB said the new approach of releasing monthly actual figures and mid-month flash estimate figures commenced today and will be reviewed in a few months time.

By giving flash estimate figures on visitor arrivals in the middle of each month, STB will be providing valuable planning information to the tourism industry and others so they can make appropriate business decisions as recovery continues, said Lim Neo Chian, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive of STB.

We continue to work very closely with the industry and build on the collaborative efforts already strengthened since March. The signs so far are very positive that we have turned the corner on visitor arrivals and that we can expect a steady and sustainable recovery in visitor arrival numbers in coming months, he said.

The flash estimate for June arrivals is 263,200. On a seasonally adjusted basis, this represents an increase of 47% compared to May. The estimated increase includes strong percentage increases in visitors from all key markets. In particular, South Korea (134%), Thailand (117%), Hong Kong SAR (130%), China (80%) and USA (68%) registered significant percentage increases.

In terms of absolute change, overall visitor arrivals in June, on a seasonally adjusted basis, are estimated to increase by about 88,000 pax compared to May. The largest increase in actual visitors is expected to come from Indonesia, with almost 12,000 more visitors in June than May on a seasonally adjusted basis.

While on a year-on-year comparison showed that visitor arrivals had declined compared to the same period last year, the level of decline was less than in previous months, reflecting that the curve has bottomed out and has now taken a significant upturn.

Key markets that registered smaller percentage declines as compared to year ago were Indonesia (-25%), Hong Kong (-36%), Thailand (-38%), Philippines (-42%) and Malaysia (-48%).

During the period of 1-15 June, visitor arrivals declined by 56% (or 154,600 pax) as compared to the same period year ago.

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