Tourism Arrivals In Singapore Could Drop By 30% Amid Virus Epidemic
Feb 11, 2020

Singapore could see a decline of up to 30 per cent in both tourist arrivals and receipts this year because of the coronavirus outbreak, Keith Tan, chief executive of the Singapore Tourism Board, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.

The decline would be from last year’s record arrivals of 19.1 million and record receipts of $19.5 billion.

Tan said the impact would be worse than the 2003 SARS pandemic when tourist arrivals declined by 18 to 19 per cent. Currently, about 18,000 to 20,000 fewer tourists a day are arriving in the city state, and the figures could plummet further if the situation persists for longer.

Chinese tourists accounts for about a fifth of Singapore’s tourism numbers, the biggest source of visitors ahead of Indonesia and India. China’s ban on outbound tour groups and Singapore’s move to bar Chinese nationals from entering has led to an “evaporation” of a key source of revenue, Tan said.

Tourists from other countries are also deferring visits to Singapore amid the outbreak, while some countries have advised citizens to delay travel plans outright, he added.

Meanwhile, DBS Group in a report said it sees a decline of one million tourists, equal to about a $720 million loss in spending, for every three months the travel bans are in place. The lower arrival numbers will cut about 0.5 per cent off Singapore’s full-year GDP growth, the bank added.

The tourism board now plans to form a tourism recovery action task force, comprising tourism organisations and companies from the public and private sectors to help with recovery efforts.