Tourism in Singapore is a major industry and contributor to the Singaporean economy, attracting 13,171,303 tourists in 2011, over twice Singapore's total population.
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. Along with this, it also has one of the world's lowest crime rates.
Domestic and outbound tourism in Singapore recovered from a decline caused by an overhang of the financial crisis in 2009, with international arrivals registering growth during through 2008 and 2012. Singapore has a modern, well-developed transport infrastructure, and its air and rail networks are considered by some to be among the finest in Asia.
The country's ports provide a natural hub for shipping to and from Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific. Tourism has a large-scale impact on the country's economy and according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), in 2012, accounted for 11.3% of the country's GDP and comprised 9.1% of its total employment.
Singapore is the second-largest source market of outbound tourism in South-East Asia. The most popular foreign destinations for its outbound tourists are Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. Malaysia alone accounted for 73.4%, or 5.8 million international departures from Singapore.
Inbound tourism increased at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.17%, with total arrivals increasing from 10.1 million in 2008 to 14.4 million in 2012. The highest annual growth rate of 20.2% was recorded in 2010. By 2017, inbound tourist arrivals are expected to reach 20.9 million, representing a CAGR of 7.74%.
The key drivers of this growth are expected to be improving economic forecasts in key European source countries, greater access to travel services at competitive prices, and government efforts to promote Singapore as a tourist destination.
The government and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) jointly undertook promotional initiatives to achieve a growth in inbound tourist flows. STB launched the YourSingapore branding campaign.
For more information on Singapore's tourism market, see the latest research: Singapore's Tourism Market
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