More Filipinos flew to Singapore in 2018

SINGAPORE. Inside Gardens by the Bay. (Ace Perez)

THE Singapore Tourism Board recorded around 780,000 Filipinos traveled to Singapore in 2018, a 5.9 percent increase from last year's data.

Outgoing Singapore Tourism Board area director Lael Loh said they attribute this upward trend to the strengthened air connectivity between countries.

"Singapore has been a very familiar destination for Filipinos and it helps a lot that we have very good connectivity," she said.

The area director mentioned the two continued service of both Cebu Pacific and Singapore Airline's SilkAir to the air route play significant in sustaining the increase in tourism arrivals.

"This year, we are very happy to report that we are seeing around 6-7 percent growth from January to July 2019 compared to the same period last year," she said, adding they are only targeting around 2-3 percent growth.

STB observed that the tourism arrivals spike following the opening of Jewel Changi Airport, a nature-themed entertainment and retail complex on the landside of Changi Airport. The country's year-round set of activities and events also boosted Singapore's tourism industry.

"Of the 780,000 Filipino tourists last year, about five percent of this figure is from Davao City. We hope to continue the growth," Loh said.

STB noted that 80 percent of the Filipino travelers in Singapore are repeat visitors. The tourists' profile is 80 percent leisure travelers and 20 percent Meeting, Incentives, Conventions, Exhibitions (Mice) tourists.

Loh emphasized they are pushing more for Mice tourism as Mice travelers usually spend more than leisure travelers.

One way of enticing more Mice travelers, she said, is giving them incentives in every 20 individuals staying for Mice.

"We just launched the Inspire program, this is really to target and drive more Mice group to come to Singapore. Incentives come in many forms -- may it be a tour at Gardens by the Bay or a meal at restaurants, many others," Loh said.

Among the activities and reasons why Filipinos visit Singapore -- food, shopping, and tourist attractions top the list.

Meanwhile, Loh also said Resorts World Sentosa Marina Bay Sands will be pouring a whopping SGD9 billion for expansion plans.

STB met with Davao media on Tuesday, September 17, at the Marco Polo Davao Hotel to introduce the new area director in the Philippines, Ruby Liu.


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