SINGAPORE: The first quarter of 2017 saw a 15% year-on-year increase in tourist spending in the city-state, reaching SG$6.4 billion, according to the country’s Tourist Board, due to higher arrivals and significant increases across all major segments.

Increases included 25% growth in the shopping segment, 24% in the accommodation, and growth of 11% for food and beverage. Sightseeing, entertainment, and gaming (SEG) was flat year-on-year, according to the STB Tourism Sector Report.

International arrivals grew by 4% to reach 4.3 million visitors in total. Tourists from China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, and India made these the top five markets travelling to Singapore. The greatest increase was among Chinese travellers, who grew 14% year-on-year.

The biggest spenders were the Chinese, Indonesian, and Indian customers who generated SG$1.07 billion, SG$688m and SG$302m, respectively.

“Since the second quarter of 2016, we have observed a changing profile in visitors coming from major cities who are spending more in these categories – shopping, accommodation and food & beverage,” a spokesperson told Marketing Interactive.

The growth, the spokesperson went on to say, was down to an intensification of marketing efforts, “through strategic marketing partnerships and expansion of our digital footprint.”

The country’s extensive marketing efforts have included a partnership with Singapore Airlines to promote stopover holidays with Australian travellers. In addition, a campaign in Malaysia targeted weekenders, with its “long weekends are for…” campaign.

Meanwhile, Indian travellers are flocking to the country for its cruise ships. Bloomberg reported that around 100,000 Indians sailed from Singapore in 2016, up almost a third (29%) from 2015.

According to Euromonitor, Singapore is expected to see a 59% jump in arrivals from India from 2015 to 2020.

Data sourced from STB, Marketing Interactive, Bloomberg; additional content by WARC staff