• Tue
  • Dec 23, 2014
  • Updated: 4:16pm

Singapore launches tourism campaign in China after hit by MH370 mystery and Thai crisis

As tourist numbers fall, the Lion City distances itself from crisis-hit neighbours

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 24 June, 2014, 3:09pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 June, 2014, 5:00am

Singapore is mounting a drive in China to market itself as a standalone tourism destination, officials said yesterday, after a drop in Chinese arrivals to neighbouring countries also affected the city state.

The Straits Times reported yesterday that Singapore's tourism sector was being hurt by Chinese travellers' reluctance to visit Malaysia due to the ongoing flight MH370 mystery, and Thailand because of its political crisis.

The five million yuan (HK$6.2 million) marketing campaign, which will last until October, will encourage Chinese travellers to visit Singapore alone.

It is jointly organised by Singapore airport operator Changi Airport Group (CAG), the Singapore Tourism Board and Chinese and Singaporean travel agencies.

The CAG said Changi handled 1.87 million passengers to and from China between January and May, a 1.7 per cent drop from the year before, but Singaporean officials declined to link this directly to events in nearby countries.

Out of a total 15.5 million visitors to Singapore last year, 2.27 million were from China, according to government data. They spent a total of US$298 million, making them the biggest tourist spenders in the city state.

Michael Chiam, a lecturer in tourism at Singapore's Ngee Ann Polytechnic, said "it makes sense for Singapore to dissociate itself" from its crisis-hit neighbours.

Most Chinese tourists visited Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand on the same holiday as part of large tour groups, he said.

Edward Chew, regional director for the Greater China region at the Singapore Tourism Board, said the city state was already "seeing more Chinese visitors travelling to Singapore as a mono-destination".

"They also stay longer than those on multi-destination package tours, so as to enjoy Singapore at a more in-depth level."

Lacking the white-sand beaches and other natural wonders of its bigger neighbours, Singapore offers a wide array of man-made attractions, including two casino resorts and a Universal Studios theme park.


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This article is now closed to comments

Be careful what you ask for :(
Desperado? To most people, it's simply marketing. You mean to say Hong Kong doesn't market itself abroad, sometimes to the point of badmouthing its competitors as well as deluding itself with self-congratulatory taglines such as Asia's "World City"? Don't be sore pang. Some cities tackle adversity with gumption. Others simply make helluva of noise
Don't worry mate. Singapore will never have almost 50m mainlanders visiting the Lion City annually simply because it is too far away. It will never have millions of daytrippers who cross the border simply to stock up one baby milk powder and other items for arbitrage. So the folks who visit, most are serious tourists and shoppers. Yes you do have the odd criminal and scoundrel here and there, but thankfully, by and large, still manageable. Phew!
To JC,
Well said.
To pangkf
Desperado? On the contrary, it shows Singapore picking up the challenge of marketing itself to the Chinese instead of just saying there's nothing to it can do. It shows Singapore telling the Chinese, who will be a major force in global tourism, that they won't be disappointed if they visit the city-state which has its own charms and attractions (albeit man-made) instead of being linked with Malaysia and Thailand as a xin-ma-tai package.


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