Indians drive Singapore's international tourism jump
The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) predicted in a statement that it expects international visitor arrivals to the city-state to reach as much as six million this year. With the country reopening its borders in April to all vaccinated travellers, it received more than 1.5 million visitors for the first half of 2022.
While still very much shy of the 9.3 million tourists that come into Singapore during the first six months of pre-COVID 2019, it is 12 times more than it received for the corresponding period in 2021.
Of the 1.5 million visitors, Indians represent the second highest nationality coming to Singapore during this six-month period with over 219,000 visiting the island.
The largest group of visitors is from neighbours Indonesia at 282,000. Malaysia is third with 139,000 visiting Singapore by air, followed by Australia (125,000) and the Philippines (81,000). Together the top five account for over 56 per cent of international visitors for the January to June period of this year.
With much of the world's population now vaccinated and with global travel picking up, Singapore is receiving a significant share of visitor traffic.
This is because it was one of the first in the region to reopen its borders with no quarantine and is also perceived to be a safe destination having seen to have handled the coronavirus outbreak well.
In terms of absolute year-on-year visitor growth, visitor arrivals from Indonesia expanded 1,996 per cent, India 1,344 per cent and Malaysia 2,000 per cent.
Earlier this month, the airline announced that it plans to progressively restore all its flights in India to pre-pandemic levels by the end of October.
SIA will gradually increase its flight frequency and operate 17 weekly services to Chennai, up from the current 10 flights per week. Kochi services will go up to 14 times weekly, up from the current seven flights per week. Bengaluru services will go up to 16 times weekly, up from the current seven flights per week.