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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs   3  January 2014  
Singapore sees more than 12.9m foreign visitors in first 10 months of 2013

SINGAPORE: According to the Singapore Tourism Board, there were more than 12.9 million international visitor arrivals in the first 10 months of 2013.

That is an 8.4 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2012.

And while the Sing dollar remained strong in 2013, some tourist attractions in Singapore said this has not deterred visitors.

Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) said in the first three quarters of 2013, it had about 18,000 visitors each day.

It added one of the main contributing factors to these strong numbers was the opening of the new Marine Life Park in November 2012, which has attracted more than 3 million visitors as of October 2013.

The top five countries which saw visitors to RWS were Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Thailand and China.

Clement Ng, senior executive for communications at RWS, said: "Of course we are still continuing with our marketing strategies in all our cities and key markets, therefore we believe that is taking effect and we have more international tourists coming in.

“At the same time there are markets - for example, China - which are seeing a stronger currency actually, so we are still getting a lot of visitors from those markets and we see greater potential in their growth as well."

But some jewellery shops Channel NewsAsia spoke to said the strong Singapore currency has affected business.

The Indian rupee fell about eight per cent in 2013 against the Sing dollar compared to 2012.

Coupled with new duty fees imposed on those bringing gold into India, a shop in Little India said takings from Indian tourists buying gold has fallen by more than 40 per cent.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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