SINGAPORE (July 30): Despite a tiny population of just over 5.6 million, Singapore last year accounted for 1% of all international arrivals to the top 200 tourism cities in the world – contributing US$6.1 billion ($8.4 billion) to total travel expenditure.
The top destinations for travellers from Singapore are Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Bangkok, Thailand; and Hong Kong. In total, these three cities saw 2.4 million arrivals from the Lion City last year, with travellers spending over US$2 billion.
These findings are from MasterCard’s new report titled Global Destination Cities Index: Origin that was released Tuesday.
Singapore ranked 21st out of a list of origin markets, just behind neighbours Malaysia and Indonesia – the world’s fourth most populous country.
Singapore was also the most popular destination for travellers arriving from Indonesia and Malaysia, and the second most popular destination for travellers from Australia and India.
Deborah Heng, Country Manager, Singapore, Mastercard, says it is not surprising that Singapore punches above its weight as a top origin market, given the Republic’s connectivity.
“Singapore’s prime location acts as a gateway to many destinations in Asia, offering travellers countless adventures only a ferry ride or short flight away – from exploring the magnificent limestone Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur to going on a shopping-spree in Bangkok’s multiple shopping districts,” says Heng.
While the top origin markets are the United States, China, Germany and the United Kingdom, Asia is catching up and showing fast growth.
In all, Asia Pacific markets made up 40% of the top 20 origins market.
Travel from China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan has gone up by 11% over the past decade. These four markets in Asia Pacific now account for 18.5% of global travel expenditure.