Singapore is heading for a record year for its tourism industry thanks to new events, the popularity of the movie “Crazy Rich Asians” and also to the collapse of tourism to Hong Kong, embattled into violence and demonstrations.
The movie ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ released in 2018, had a positive impact for Singapore, turning its tourist industry into a ‘crazy rich’ one as the city is heading to new record numbers.
News agency Bloomberg reported that about five million travellers came to the island between July and September, led by visitors from Greater China, with a 22% increase, according to data from Singapore Tourism Board. The previous quarterly record was 4.83 million set in the same period a year earlier. Since the start of the year, Singapore already recorded 15.8 million international arrivals compared to 15.4 million. The city should finish the year with total arrivals expected to flirt or even pass the 19-million mark by the end of the year. Growth should reach 3%.
Singapore, which competes with Hong Kong for conferences, is also benefiting from the North Asian city’s weekly pro-democracy protests that started in June. As the demonstrations turned increasingly violent, some conferences, such as the Global Wellness Summit, moved their events to Singapore.
The unrest in Hong Kong has prompted businesses to relocate events and major meetings to locations in Singapore as well as neighboring countries such as Thailand, according to hotel-industry billionaire William Heinecke.
The outlook for 2020 looks bright too with a robust line up of events such as Singapore Airshow, Food & Hotel Asia conference and Gamescom Asia, according to a report published by DBS Bank in October.
Among the island’s biggest events in the third quarter was the Formula One night race in the city center. Large international concerts included the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Gwen Stefani and U2 attracted visitors from all across Asia. It’s a “sci-fi city,” U2 frontman Bono told the crowd, pointing to the country’s diversity.