The growth was recorded from January to November last year.
Chinese arrivals have been an important driver of demand growth last year, although arrivals by air have shown a rough trend of increasingly modest growth numbers from the start of 2016 – falling from +62.3% YoY growth in March to -3.3% in October 2016 before rebounding with +14.5% growth in November.
According to OCBC Investment Research, for the 11 months last year, Chinese arrivals by air have clocked in a 25.6% growth.
Arrivals by land also posed a similar trend moderation but YoY growth has still been at least double digit each month and 93.6% YoY growth was recorded from January to November. With this, Chinese arrivals now make up a larger proportion of total Chinese travellers.
"The proportion of Chinese travelers who came by air and land were 72% and 25% respectively for Jan-Nov 2016; the corresponding
proportions were 78% and 18% for 2015," OCBC said.
The firm explained that one explanation for this may be the ongoing change in flight patterns in the past three years. Citing data from CAPA statistics, OCBC said the number of long-haul flights from Chinese cities to Australia has grown rapidly since 2013.
"Many of these are operated by Chinese carriers that may conduct non-stop flights or choose to use other cities as opposed to traditional transit hubs such as Hong Kong and Singapore," OCBC noted.
It added, "Nonetheless, we believe that the risk of this subset of stop-over travelers being further eroded is very minimal to the hospitality industry at this point in time; we estimate that these travelers make up only around ~0.5% to ~2% of total arrivals from
all countries to Singapore."
More From Singapore Business Review