Singapore: Asia’s second most visited city

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Singapore, despite its limited size, attracts a lot of visitors. Source: Wikimedia

Singapore is Asia-Pacific’s second-most popular destination, with 11.81 million international visitors last year, according to a MasterCard index.

Bangkok came top with 21.9 million visitors and Tokyo was a narrow third behind Singapore’s 11.76 million arrivals. Kuala Lumpur takes the fourth spot with 11.3 million visitors.

The annual Asia-Pacific Destinations Index ranks 167 destinations in 22 countries in the vast region, including resorts, by their international overnight arrivals, cross-border spending and the total number of nights spent at each destination.

Mastercard said the destinations represent 90.1 per cent of all international overnight arrivals in the region.

Most tourists coming to Singapore were from Indonesia (16.1 per cent), China (13.9 per cent) and India (7.3 per cent).

MasterCard Singapore manager Deborah Heng said the city-state had proven resilient in attracting visitors despite greater competition from Thailand and Malaysia.

“With Asia’s tourism set to grow, governments, tourism authorities and businesses will need to work closely together to deliver top notch attractions, key partnerships and compelling propositions to remain competitive and appealing for the increasingly affluent and well-travelled consumer,” she added.

Singapore ranked third in tourist expenditure with US$14.1 billion, behind Bangkok with US$15.2 billion and Seoul’s US$14.4 billion.

But as a daily average, Shanghai topped the list with tourist expenditure of US$269 per day, followed by Beijing with US$262 per day and Seoul’s US$258 per day. Singapore was fourth, averaging US$255 per day in 2015.

INTERNATIONAL OVERNIGHT VISITOR NUMBERS, ACCORDING TO MASTERCARD

1. Bangkok – 21.9 million

2. Singapore – 11.81 million

3. Tokyo – 11.76 million

4. Kuala Lumpur – 11.3 million

5. Phuket – 9.3 million

6. Seoul – 9.2 million

7. Hong Kong – 8.3 million

8. Pattaya – 8.1 million

9. Bali – 7.2 million

10. Osaka – 6.5 million

TOTAL EXPENDITURE

1. Bangkok – US$15.2 billion

2. Seoul – US$14.4 billion

3. Singapore – US$14.1 billion

4. Tokyo – US$11.9 billion

5. Kuala Lumpur – US$10.5 billion

6. Bali – US$10.3 billion

7. Taipei – US$9.5 billion

8. Phuket – US$8.0 billion

9. Hong Kong – US$6.7 billion

10. Sydney – US$6.0 billion

TOTAL NIGHTS STAYED BY INTERNATIONAL TOURISTS

1. Bangkok – 107 million

2. Sydney – 83 million

3. Kuala Lumpur – 68.5 million

4. Tokyo – 67.8 million

5. Bali – 65.2 million

6. Seoul – 55.6 million

7. Singapore – 55.3 million

8. Melbourne – 53.3 billion

9. Brisbane – 52.3 billion

10. Taipei – 42.3 billion

AVERAGE NIGHTS PER TOURIST

1. Bali – 9.1

2. Kuala Lumpur – 6.1

3. Seoul – 6.0

4. Tokyo – 5.8

5. Bangkok – 4.9

6. Osaka – 4.8

7. Singapore – 4.7

8. Phuket – 4.4

9. Pattaya – 3.4

10. Hong Kong – 3.3