Singapore’s record 20.2% growth in tourist arrivals and the opening of two Integrated
Resorts (IRs) last year did not have the expected widespread positive impact on the city’s attractions, according to a new survey. According to a survey by the Association of Singapore Attractions (ASA), just over half (55%) of attractions registered improvements in visitorship ranging from as little as 1% to more than 100% growth compared to 2009. The remaining 45% of attractions polled reported a decline in visitor figures, which figures decreasing by as much as 28%.
Collectively, Singapore’s attractions sector reported a total attendance of more than 34 million visitors last year, out of which 50.2% were locals and 49.8% tourists. This represented a 56.3% increase over the previous year’s figures.
For the survey, respondents were sorted according to the type (Adventure & Rides,
Museums & Heritage, Nature & Parks, Edutainment & Lifestyle, and Multi Offerings), gated
and non-gated attractions, location (Civic District, Outside Civic District, Sentosa Island) and the ratio of locals versus tourists.
Key findings included the fact that the opening of Resorts World Sentosa caused overall visitorship to the island to surge 185%. It is likely that all attractions on the island enjoyed positive spillover effects.
Gated or paid attractions in the Civic District however, suffered a dip in visitor levels (-4.4%), while gated attractions outside the city centre and Sentosa cluster showed a slight 1.2% decline. Overall, gated attractions in Singapore, excluding those on Sentosa, registered a marginal 0.2% decline in visitor numbers in 2010.
Visitation to non-gated and free access attractions grew by a whopping 120%. This was attributed to the opening of new attractions during the year as well as the organic
growth. Gated attractions in both the adventure and rides as well as
edutainment and lifestyle categories saw modest growths of 2.2% and 6.7% respectively
In terms of visitor profile, the gated and paid attractions outside Sentosa reported that 46%
of their visitors are tourists. The non-gated and free access attractions outside Sentosa
showed 37% of their visitors are tourists. Collectively, attractions outside Sentosa
reported that local visitors grew by 10.4% year-on-year, while the tourists numbers dipped by 3.2%. For the gated and paid attractions on Sentosa that responded to the survey, 76% of the
visitors were tourists – 8.1% more than in 2009.
“Our inaugural survey revealed that while national tourist arrivals grew by one-fifth in 2010,
its influence wasn’t evenly felt across Singapore attractions. We’ve also discovered that the
IRs tend to benefit the attractions on Sentosa island more so than any other location. ASA
will continue to work with our members and industry partners like the Singapore Tourism
Board and travel trade stakeholders on collaborative programmes to promote our attractions
and encourage patronage from arriving visitors. We will continue to make available key
industry trends so that members can weave these findings into their business strategies.”
commented Kevin Cheong, ASA Chairman.
A total of 31 attractions participated in the survey. They include major tourism and lifestyle destinations like the Singapore Zoo, Night Safari, Sentosa Leisure Group, National Heritage Board museums, and the Singapore Science Centre.