Singapore has become a tourist destination of the year for the first time, as the country ranks in the top 10 in the world in tourist arrivals and foreign tourists.
The Singapore Map’s latest report shows the Singapore capital has now attracted more than 11 million visitors and more than 100 million foreign visitors since the start of the decade.
This year, Singapore has been listed as a top 10 destination, according to the survey conducted by the city-state’s tourism authority.
The Singapore Map says that its research team has recorded more than 9 million visits to Singapore since the city opened in 1999, which has increased by more than 12 per cent every year since then.
There are about 1.3 million people in Singapore who are tourists and almost 2.6 million foreign tourists, the survey says.
The report also shows that the number of foreign visitors to Singapore rose by 5 per cent in the first half of the century, to about 3.5 million.
In the first quarter of 2019, the total number of Singapore tourists was about 623,000, up 6.3 per cent from the same quarter last year, the report says.
Foreign visitors accounted for almost 90 per cent of the foreign tourists in Singapore, followed by the number from other destinations.
Singapore’s foreign visitor population is the highest in the Asia Pacific region, it says, with about 15.7 per cent.
Singapore has also emerged as a favourite destination for Australians.
Tourism has long been a major driver of Singapore’s economic growth, which in turn has contributed to the country’s booming economy.
But in the past few years, Singapore’s population has fallen, particularly among the elderly, and many are worried about the impact of a ageing population on tourism and other industries.
“There’s a feeling that it’s a loss of trust that people feel in Singapore as a place to visit and to live,” said Daniel Hsu, an analyst at Singapore-based consulting firm Sengkong Securities.
“This is a new phenomenon.
People are really worried about their safety in the country and what is happening in the rest of the region.”
The report does not include foreign visitors who come to Singapore for holidays or special events, but the number is expected to climb over the next two years, as Singapore’s ageing population ages.