As always, we remain mindful of geopolitical tensions, economic uncertainties or natural disasters as these affect global consumer travel sentiments. Tourism as a global industry is also constantly evolving and competition is intensifying for the tourism pie as more economies step up their destination marketing and product development efforts.
That said, the outlook appears to be favourable. In 2020, the global economy is projected to grow at 3.7 per cent1. Southeast Asia is expected to achieve average GDP growth of 5.2 per cent between 2018 and 20222. Such robust economic growth forecasts augur well for tourism. According to the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), international visitor arrivals to Asia and the Pacific are projected to nearly double from 279 million in 2015 to 535 million in 2030. As income levels rise, people tend to travel more. Singapore’s connectivity to the rest of the world, which is already one of the best in the region, is also expected to improve further with the increasing number of connecting flight routes.
We are thus generally optimistic about Singapore’s tourism prospects in 2018. We are forecasting tourism receipts to be in the range of S$27.1 to $27.6 billion, a 1 to 3 per cent year-on-year growth, while international visitor arrivals are expected to come in at 17.6 to 18.1 million, up 1 to 4 per cent year-on-year.
To turn in another good performance, we must be agile in managing our strategies and responding to market shifts. To this end, we will leverage our network of regional offices to keep our finger on the pulse of current and future market developments. It is also critical for us to invest in technologies and innovations that will enable us to enhance our value proposition, our competitive position, and operational excellence to support our business goals.
1 International Monetary Fund
2 OECD (2018), Economic Outlook for Southeast Asia, China and India 2018: Fostering Growth Through Digitalisation
International Monetary Fund
OECD (2018), Economic Outlook for Southeast Asia, China and India 2018: Fostering Growth Through Digitalisation