India has been ranked the second-largest tourist market for Singapore in 2022 behind Indonesia, with 686,000 Indian arrivals, according to data provided by the country's tourism authority here on Tuesday.
Tourists from Indonesia, India and Australia were among the top spenders in the first nine months of 2022 with a spending of 8.96 billion Singapore dollars (SGD), Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said.
India was the second-largest tourist market for Singapore in 2022 with 686,000 Indian visitors.
Indonesia was the largest tourist market with 1.1 million arrivals from the country.
Malaysia with 591,000 tourists was in third place.
Singapore's tourism receipts are estimated to reach SGD 13.8 billion to SGD 14.3 billion for 2022 - about 50 to 52 per cent of 2019 levels, said the STB.
Final figures for tourism receipts will be available in the second quarter of 2023.
The STB said the number of tourist visitors to Singapore reached 6.3 million in 2022, exceeding its forecast of between 4 million and 6 million.
This was one-third of the number in 2019, before international travel came to a halt in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Channel News Asia reported, citing the STB.
STB's director of communications Terence Voon said the strong performance for 2022 was achieved even though quarantine measures in Singapore were in place for the first quarter of last year, China's borders remained closed and flight capacity was limited.
These numbers were achieved against that, so we believe that reflects the strong pent-up demand to visit Singapore, he said.
Barring unexpected circumstances, tourism activity is now expected to recover to pre-pandemic levels by 2024, said STB.
STB chief executive Keith Tan said, Our 2022 tourism performance underscores Singapore's appeal as a leading business and leisure destination for post-pandemic travellers.
"To sustain our growth in 2023 and beyond, we will expand our partnerships, build up a rich year-round calendar of events, ramp up investment in new and refreshed products and experiences and continue to support industry efforts to build the capabilities they need to meet consumer demands.
The STB also expects the tourism sector to "continue its growth momentum" this year, on the back of increasing flight connectivity and capacity, as well as China's gradual reopening.
International visitor arrivals are expected to reach about 12 million to 14 million visitors in 2023, bringing in about SGD 18 billion to SGD 21 billion around two-thirds to three-quarters of tourism receipts in 2019.
Juliana Kua, STB assistant chief executive (international group), added that visitor arrivals from pre-pandemic China were about 3.6 million a year. STB expects between 30 per cent to 60 per cent of that number in 2023, depending on the speed of China's reopening.
She said that two key aspects will affect how strongly this market recovers how quickly flight capacity ramps up and the pace of relaxation for outbound travel from China.
As of January, there are about 38 weekly flights from Singapore to China, which is about a tenth of the capacity from before the pandemic, she added.