Singapore Tourism Board looks to lure in Malaysians

Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is targeting stronger growth among Malaysian travellers this year following a 7% growth in 2018 to 1.25 million, largely contributed by an increase in visitors from East Malaysia (26%). Tourism arrivals from Peninsular Malaysia saw a 4.3% increase of visitors collectively from Penang, Perak, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.

Malaysian cruise arrivals, in particular, nearly doubled in 2018, with “Genting Dream” and the “Voyager of Seas” as the two top cruise choices. This was due to the increasing demand of cruise holidays and packages, according to STB’s recent year in review.

As part of an ongoing effort to be more relevant to Malaysian visitors, STB recently launched a “Crazy Together” series, featuring a pair of Malaysian dads and their sons on an adventure in Singapore.

Featuring both fathers and action seekers – Peter Davis and Shaarin Razali Wong and their sons, the campaign presents a series of video content highlighting how two fathers journeyed with their sons in the Lion City, encountering their first experiences together and overcoming their fears.

According to area director of STB Malaysia and Brunei, Dawn Ng, the series is part of its local efforts to collaborate with Malaysian personalities to showcase more personal and deeper destination stories that are relevant to Malaysian audience. Ng added that the board is “very encouraged” by the growth that it has seen in 2018, despite the multiple macro and micro-economic factors that the Malaysia market is facing.

“Our partners have worked with us to ensure that Singapore remains an attractive destination for Malaysians to visit. We will highlight the calendar of activities and events to excite visitors about what Singapore has in-store especially with the opening of Design Orchard and the upcoming Jewel Changi Airport so as to attract more visitors to Singapore in 2019,” she said.

Overall, Singapore’s tourism sector experienced a strong year in 2018, with a 1.0% growth in tourism receipts to SG$27.1 billion and a 6.2% increase in visitor arrivals to 18.5 million. The top three markets for visitor arrivals to Singapore are China (6%), Indonesia (2%) and India (13%). Singapore’s tourism sector also saw “significant growth” in tourists from Germany, the Philippines, UK, US and Vietnam.

While tourist spending grew, it was slowed by declines in shopping (14%), accommodation (5%) and food neverage (4%). According to STB, these were partially offset by growths in sightseeing, entertainment gaming (6%) and other TR components5 (21%). For other TR Components, airfare revenue rose on the back of more visitor arrivals via local-based carriers. BTMICE-related spending also increased.

Keith Tan, STB’s chief executive, said: “We were fortunate to have benefited from a confluence of positive factors such as strong Asia-Pacific travel demand, increased flight connectivity to Singapore, and various high-profile events. It is also heartening to see our marketing efforts and collaborations with industry partners bearing fruit.”