Singapore Tourism poised for near-recovery to pre-Covid in 2024, expects boost from tier 2 cities

Singapore expects tourist inflow from India to approach 90-95 per cent of pre-Covid numbers in 2024 with a resurgence in the tourism sector in the country, Markus Tan, Regional Director for India, Middle East, South Asia & Africa (IMESA) at the Singapore Tourism Board said.

Tan projects a steady recovery and foresees an additional boost from tier 2 cities, contributing to the nation’s tourism.

“We are confident in Singapore’s tourism rebound. In 2019, we recorded a record high of 1.4 million Indian tourists, and in 2023, we achieved a 75 per cent recovery with 1.07 million Indian visitors, solidifying India as our fifth-largest tourism source,” Tan said in an interview with businessline.

“Even if we reach 90-95 per cent of pre covid levels this year, it is a good number to achieve. We expect an additional boost from tier 2 cities.,” he said.

Tan added that Singapore had already exceeded pre-COVID air capacity levels between India and Singapore by approximately 8 -10 per cent. He said increased capacity is expected to contribute to more stable air costs, potentially encouraging a quicker rebound as Singapore positions itself as an attractive destination. 

Regarding initiatives like the March campaign, Tan emphasised, “We are committed to captivating Indian travellers and sustaining positive momentum in the market.”

Tan said the success in surpassing pre-COVID capacity could also be attributed to collaboration with partners like Air India and Singapore Airlines. The increased capacity is expected to stabilise air costs. Ongoing talks with airlines like Singapore Airlines, Indigo, and Air India aim to identify viable routes, addressing operational challenges such as securing air slots and managing airport capacity in major metros.

Despite challenges, Tan reiterated STB’s commitment to investing in the Indian market, stating, “Considering India as the Asia Pacific’s leading outbound market, we are committed to its growth potential beyond campaigns.” He outlined efforts, including engaging travel trade in non-metro areas, introducing new products, and involving Singapore pilots in India. “These strategies aim to penetrate diverse cities and further establish a strong presence.,” he said

On the ‘Made in Singapore’ campaign, Tan said it aims to transform ordinary moments into extraordinary experiences, highlighting unique aspects of Singapore’s multicultural, cosmopolitan, and vibrant nature.” He said similar campaigns were being launched in key source markets. “Our immersive out-of-home experiences, such as a 3D anamorphic billboard, provide a portal into Singapore’s most popular attractions,” Tan said.

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