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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs   13 February  2015  

Singapore tourist arrivals down 3% in 2014

SINGAPORE reported fewer international visitors last year, the first annual fall since 2009, hurt by a stronger Singapore dollar and a drop in the number of Chinese tourists amid slower regional tourism growth.

International visitor arrivals fell three per cent last year to 15.1 million, missing the Singapore Tourism Board’s forecast of an increase of five to eight percent from 2013.

However, visitors stayed longer and spent more, helping tourism receipts stay flat at $23.5 billion, according to preliminary estimates.

Singapore, which relies on tourism for about four percent of its economic output, is often a pitstop for travellers who combine it with trips to neighbouring countries.

But two mishaps involving Malaysian Airlines flights, political unrest in Thailand and a new Chinese law that clamps down on ultra-cheap tour packages have taken their toll. VIP volumes are also under pressure at Singapore’s two glitzy casinos, Las Vegas Sands’ Marina Bay Sands and Genting Singapore’s Resorts World Sentosa, as China’s corruption crackdown and economic slowdown reduce the number of wealthy players at their tables.

The STB said it would not be able to meet a 10-year plan to grow visitor arrivals to 17 million this year.

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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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