Tourism in Singapore

Tourism in Singapore

http://www.tourisminsingapore.comTourism in Singapore is a major industry and attracts millions of tourists each year. [cite web|url=| |accessdate=2007-05-19] A lot of its cultural attraction can be attributed to its cultural diversity that reflects its colonial history and Chinese, Malay, Indian and Arab ethnicities. It is also environmentally friendly, and maintains natural and heritage conservation programs. As English is one of its numerous official languages, it is generally easier for tourists to understand when speaking to the local population of the country, for example, when shopping. Transport in Singapore exhaustively covers most, if not all public venues in Singapore, which increases convenience for tourists. This includes the well-known Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system.

The Orchard Road district, which is dominated by multi-story shopping centres and hotels, can be considered the center of tourism in Singapore. Other popular tourist attractions include the Singapore Zoo and its Night Safari, which allows people to explore Asian, African and American habitats at night without any visible barriers between guests and the wild animals. The Singapore Zoo has embraced the 'open zoo' concept whereby animals are kept in enclosures, separated from visitors by hidden dry or wet moats, instead of caging the animals. Jurong Bird Park is another zoological garden centred around birds, which is dedicated towards exposing the public to as much species and varieties of birds from around the world as possible, including a flock of one thousand flamingos. The tourist island of Sentosa, which attracts more than 5 million visitors a year, is located in the south of Singapore, consists of about 20-30 landmarks, such as Fort Siloso, which was built as a fortress to defend against the Japanese during World War II. Guns from the World War II era can be seen at Fort Siloso, from a mini-sized to a 16 pound (7 kg) gun. Recently, the island has built the Carlsberg Sky Tower, which allows visitors to view the whole of Sentosa, as well as the Sentosa Luge, a small one- or two-person sled on which one sleighs supine and feet-first. Steering is done by shifting the weight or pulling straps attached to the sled's runners. Singapore will have two integrated resorts with casinos in 2010, one at Marina Bay and the other at Sentosa which the government announced during a parliament session on April 18, 2005.

Tourism statistics

In 2006, the number of tourists visiting Singapore reached a record number of 9.7 million as compared to 8.9 million in 2005, beating expectations. [cite web|url=| |accessdate=2007-05-19]

Visitors spent an estimated S$12.4 billion compared to 10.8 billion in Year 2005, resulting in a 14% increase last year compared to the 2005. [cite web|url=| |accessdate=2007-05-19]

Visitors stayed for an average of 4.2 days in 2006, and Indonesia was the main source of tourists with more than 1.8 million visitors in 2006, followed by China with 1.0 million. Malaysians also made up 996,000 of the visitors. [cite web|url=| |accessdate=2007-05-19]

For hotels, the average occupancy rate between for the whole year was 86% compared to 84% in 2005, resulting in a 1.4% growth. [cite web|url=| |accessdate=2007-05-19]

Room rates broke 10 year records to reach a high of S$164 last year as compared to $137 in 2005, resulting in a 19.6% growth last year as compared to 2005. [cite web|url=| |accessdate=2007-05-19]

In 2006, total room revenue, visitor day and revenue per available room was $1.5 billion, $32.9 million and $140 respectively. All three sectors had achieved substantial growth as compared to Year 2005. [cite web|url=| |accessdate=2007-05-19]

In 2007, the state hopes to get 10.2 million visitor arrivals and $13.6 billion in tourism receipts.
By 2015 the ambitious Tourism 2015 blueprint aims to increase visitors arrivals to 17 million and raise tourism receipts to S$30 billion.

General trends

Recent years

Bus fleet

* 4xScania L94UB (Open-Top) Low Floor, non-WAB, Hippy, Hurry, Purple and Pinkie.
* 5xScania K230UB (Open-Top) access icon|15px Bingo, Kermee, Snow White , Cookie and Julius.
* 4xScania K340IB Monster Rhino, High Deck Blubee, Vader and Goldie.

Boat fleet

* Condiesel Larc V


There are various shopping belts in Singapore, Marina Bay, Bugis Street, Chinatown, Geylang Serai, Kampong Gelam & Arab Street, Little India, North Bridge Road, Orchard Road, Riverside, Shenton Way & Raffles Place and The Suburbs.

Singapore seeks to be the business hub of Southeast Asia and has an expansive shopping precinct located in the Orchard Road district. Many multistorey shopping centres are located at Orchard Road; the area also has many hotels, and it's the main tourism centre of Singapore, other than the Downtown Core. The local populace also use Orchard Road for shopping extensively.

Other than Orchard Road, Singapore's largest shopping centre, VivoCity, has also attracted millions of people since its opening in 2006. Farah Abdul Rahim" [ Newly opened VivoCity mall attracts nearly a million shoppers] ", Channel NewsAsia, 2006-10-15 ]

To further encourage tourists to shop at Singapore, the Singapore Tourism Board and various organizers organize the Great Singapore Sale yearly. Shoppers can enjoy great discounts and bargains at participating outlets. The Singapore Tourism Board introduced "Late Night Shopping" in 2007. [cite web|url=| |accessdate=2007-05-19] Tourists cancatch "Late Night Shopping" on Orchard Road up till 11pm every Saturday and enjoy special deals or promotions by participating retailers.

Arts and entertainment

Singapore is a haven for the arts all year round. Its dynamic arts scene is richly influenced by their indigenous Malay culture, the heritage of Chinese and Indian migrants, as well as the city’s international outlook. As new contemporary forms evolve, traditional art forms are simultaneously being preserved to create an arts culture that is uniquely Singapore.

The Art Districts in Singapore include Central Arts Districts, Chinatown Arts Belt, Dempsey and Tanglin, Little India, and Riverside. There are also various art museums in Singapore like the Asian Civilisations Museums at Empress Place and Old Tao Nan School, Singapore Art Museum, and NUS Museums.

Many of Singapore's performing arts venues and institutions are more than just performance locations – they are architectural marvels in their own right. These venues include the Singapore Repertory Theatre, Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay, The Substation and the University Cultural Centre.

Island resorts

Sentosa is a relatively large island of Singapore located to its south. Along with a beachfront resort, the island's tourist attractions include Fort Siloso, its historical museum, the Underwater World aquarium and the "Carlsberg Sky Tower". Singapore will also be building two casinos (integrated resorts), one on Marina Bay and one on Sentosa. The proposal of building Singapore Casinos in these resorts has been controversial.

Nature sight-seeing

Singapore has a variety of parks and projects which often feature its natural tropical environment.

The Singapore Zoo and Night Safari, allows people to explore Asian, African and South American habitats at night, without any visible barriers between guests and the wild animals.

Singapore has its Singapore Botanical Gardens open to the public that is 52 hectares large, and includes the National Orchid collection with over 3000 types of orchids growing.

Recently the government has also been promoting the Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve as a quiet getaway from the stress of modern life.

The Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is an extensive nature reserve which covers much of the Bukit Timah Hill, and is the only remaining place where primary rainforest still exists on the island.

The Jurong BirdPark includes extensive specimens of exotic bird life from around the world, including a flock of one thousand flamingos.

Pulau Ubin, an island offshore Singapore, is slowly becoming a popular tourist spot. The nature wildlife there is left undisturbed.


The cuisine of Singapore is often viewed by her population as a prime example of the ethnic diversity of the culture of Singapore. In Singapore's hawker centres - a technical misnomer, to be precise - for example, traditionally Malay hawker stalls selling halal food may serve halal versions of traditionally Tamil or Chinese food. Chinese stalls may introduce Malay or Indian ingredients, cooking techniques or entire dishes into their range of catering. Some dishes introduce elements from all three cultures, while others incorporate influences from the rest of Asia and the West.

This phenomenon makes the cuisine of Singapore significantly rich and a cultural attraction. Most of the prepared food that is bought outside are eaten in the hawker centres or food courts rather than actual restaurants, an example of which is Lau Pa Sat, these centres are relatively abundant which often leads to low prices, and encourages a large consumer base.

Food in itself has been heavily promoted as an attraction for tourists, and is usually promoted by various initiatives undertaken by the Singapore Tourism Board or the associations it deals with as one of Singapore's best attractions alongside shopping. The government organises the Singapore Food Festival in July annually to celebrate Singapore's cuisine. The multiculturalism of local food, the ready availability of international cuisine, and their wide range in prices to fit all budgets at all times of the day and year helps create a "food paradise" to rival other contenders claiming the same moniker. The availability of variety of food is often aided by the fact Singapore's port lies along strategic routes.

There is also a proliferation of fast-food chains, such as McDonald's, Pizza Hut, KFC, Burger King, Subway, Long John Silver's, and Mos Burger without first mentioning a huge array of restaurants that run the cultural gamut.

Halal and vegetarian food are also easily available.

Night life

Singapore is among the top five countries in the world for nightlife, fine dining and shopping. [ [ ] ] Some popular nightspots in Singapore include:

Boat Quay

Boat Quay is a historical quay in Singapore which is situated upstream from the mouth of the Singapore River. Shophouses on it have been carefully conserved and now house various bars, pubs and restaurants.

Clarke Quay

Clarke Quay is a historical riverside quay and a buzzing party central in Singapore, and is situated even further upstream from the mouth of the Singapore River than Boat Quay is. Presently, five blocks of restored warehouses house various restaurants and shops such as antique shops. There are also moored Chinese junks ("tongkangs") that have been refurbished into floating pubs and restaurants. Crazy Horse Paris opened their third cabaret show worldwide in Clarke Quay in December 2005, but ended operations in February 2007 owing to poor business. The Ministry of Sound opened at Clarke Quay in December 2005 and is one of the most popular nightclubs in the city currently.

Clarke Quay also boasts more than 50 eateries offering over 20 different types of cuisine, and more than 20 bars, clubs and pubs. Some of the world's best pubs are located in Clarke Quay.

Tourist Events

Singapore Tourism Board promotes a variety of events all year round for tourists. Some of the anchor events are the Chingay Parade, Singapore Arts Festival and Singapore Garden Festival.

Singapore will host a round of the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship (Singapore Grand Prix). [cite web|url=| |accessdate=2007-05-19] The race, to be held on a new street circuit at Marina Bay, will be the first night-time event in Formula One history. The event is expected to spice up the tourism arrivals and night-life in Singapore. Also in 2010, Singapore will host the inaugural Youth Olympic Games, where the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), which say the Games is expected to generate a minimum of 180,000 visitor nights for Singapore. [ cite news| title = Inaugural Youth Olympic Games will boost Singapore's tourism industry| publisher = Channel NewsAsia | date = 23 February 2008 | url = ]

Future developments

Rejuvenation of the City

To compete with its many Asian rivals such as Hong Kong, Tokyo and Shanghai, the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore has announced that the city would be transformed into a more vibrant and exciting place with more buzz by lighting up the city completely. The purpose of this is to attract more tourists. This would make Singapore more livelier and help to create a captivating night scene to increase Singapore's appeal and high ranking status in the world. The most prominent transformation of the city would be its city skyline in the Central Business District (CBD). By 2009, each and every skyscraper in the CBD would be lit up with bright and colourful neon lights that would change from time to time, festive occasions and events. Waterfront shows would also be held daily during the night. [ cite news| title = Let there be Light| publisher = Urban Redevelopment Authority | date = November 2006 | url = ]

The many changes to the four main sections of the city at night includes:
* Orchard Road: Vibrant building facades that would jazz up shopping experiences, funky touches such as street seating that changes colours when someone sits down and trees that are brightly lit to promote Singapore as a Garden City.
*Singapore River: This includes Clarke Quay and Boat Quay. "Jellyfish" lights would float in the river at Boat Quay. Banks and walls of the river would be illuminated, adding to ambience, and brightly-lit up river-taxis. Underpass along the stretch of 3 km would be lit up with various designs and murals.
* Bras Basah and Bugis: Highlighting gateways and focal entry points with innovative light-integrated sculptures and markers would increase the feeling that a person is in a fun and vibrant entertainment hub. There would be more luminous signboards, 3D "art-vertisements" and animations on walls. Well-designed neon advertisements would also be put up.
* CBD and Marina Bay: This area is the centre-piece of the whole project. There would be white street lights, instead of the current orange-yellow, to help make people feel that the place is more of an ultra-modern financial hub. There would be the lighting plan of the city skyline, Marina Bay Financial Centre and Integrated Resort. Lights on skyscrapers would also change time to time, with music in the streets and water shows by the bay to add more life and vibrancy.

Marina Bay and Sentosa

By 2009, there would be new developments in Marina Bay and Sentosa. The government hopes to receive 17 million visitors per year by 2015.

The developments at Marina Bay include:
* The Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort
* Marina Bay Financial Centre that includes One Raffles Quay and One Marina Boulevard.
* Premium residential space such as The Sail @ Marina Bay.
* Singapore Flyer
* Gardens by the Bay
* Marina Barrage
* Clifford Pier and Former Customs and Harbour Branch
* 280-metre Double Helix Bridge and Promenade
* Downtown MRT Line
* Common Services Tunnel
* Pits and temporary routes of the Marina Bay Street Circuit of the Singapore Grand Prix (2008)

Future developments at Sentosa include the Integrated Resort, Resorts World at Sentosa.

ee also

* Communications in Singapore
* Culture of Singapore
* History of Singapore
* History of the Republic of Singapore
* Media of Singapore
* Singapore Tourism Board
* Transport in Singapore


External links

* [ Singapore Tourism Board]
* [ Visit Singapore]
* [ Uniquely Singapore Weekends]

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