Tourism in Singapore

Tourism in Singapore

Singapore recorded a total of three million tourists in 2020, ranking 55th in the world in absolute terms.

That smaller countries regularly perform lower in a comparison of the absolute number of guests, is obvious. By putting the tourist numbers in relation to the population of Singapore, the result is much more comparable picture: With 0.50 tourists per resident, Singapore ranked 65th in the world. In Southeast Asia, it ranked 3rd.

In 2018, Singapore generated around 20.42 billion US dollars in the tourism sector alone. This corresponds to 5.1 percent of its the gross domestic product and approximately 14 percent of all international tourism receipts in Southeast Asia.

Worldwide comparisons:
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Back to overview: Singapore

The most popular city in Singapore for international travelers is Singapore. In 2021, it reached the 24th place of the world's most popular cities.

Tourism in SingaporeOn average, each of the tourists arriving in 2018 spent about 1,048 US dollars. Conversely, the inhabitants of Singapore spend as much as 2,319 dollars a year when they themselves spend vacations abroad.

Development of the tourism sector in Singapore from 1995 to 2020

The following chart shows the number of tourist arrivals registered in Singapore each year. Anyone who spends at least one night in the country but does not live there for more than 12 months is considered a tourist. Insofar as the survey included the purpose of the trip, business trips and other non-tourism travel purposes have already been excluded. The number of people passing through within the same day, and e.g., crew members of ships or flights are also not considered tourists in most countries. If the same person travels in and out more than once within the same year, each visit counts again.

Data in the chart are given in millions of tourists. The red line represents the average of all 11 countries in Southeast Asia.

Tourists per year in Singapore

Revenues from tourism

In 1995, tourism revenues amounted to 7.61 billion USD, or about 8.7 percent of the gross national product. This corresponded to about 7.14 million tourists at that time and roughly 1,066 USD per person. Within 23 years, the country's dependence on tourism has decreased substantially. Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, sales were $20.42 billion billion, 5.4 percent of gross national product. Thus, each visitor spent an average of $1,103 on their vacation in Singapore.

Full figures for 2020, the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, are not currently available. However, national and international travel has been restricted worldwide, and some countries have even been closed off from the outside world altogether. Dramatic revenue losses are expected, with some countries experiencing losses of up to more than 80%.

Tourism receipts in Singapore per year

All data for Singapore in detail

YearNumber of touristsReceipts% of GNPReceipts per tourist
20202.74 m
201919.12 m
201818.51 m20.42 bn $5.4 %1,103 $
201717.43 m19.89 bn $5.8 %1,142 $
201616.40 m18.94 bn $5.9 %1,155 $
201515.23 m16.62 bn $5.4 %1,091 $
201415.10 m19.16 bn $6.1 %1,269 $
201315.57 m19.23 bn $6.3 %1,235 $
201214.50 m18.80 bn $6.4 %1,297 $
201113.17 m17.93 bn $6.4 %1,361 $
201011.64 m14.18 bn $5.9 %1,218 $
20099.68 m9.23 bn $4.8 %953 $
200810.12 m10.62 bn $5.5 %1,049 $
200710.29 m9.07 bn $5.0 %881 $
20069.75 m7.54 bn $5.1 %773 $
20058.94 m6.21 bn $4.9 %694 $
20048.33 m5.33 bn $4.6 %640 $
20036.13 m3.84 bn $3.9 %627 $
20027.57 m4.46 bn $4.8 %589 $
20017.52 m4.64 bn $5.2 %617 $
20007.69 m5.14 bn $5.4 %669 $
19996.96 m5.09 bn $5.9 %731 $
19986.24 m4.60 bn $5.4 %737 $
19977.20 m6.33 bn $6.3 %879 $
19967.29 m7.40 bn $7.7 %1,015 $
19957.14 m7.61 bn $8.7 %1,066 $

Our data on tourist numbers, revenues and expenditures are based on information from the World Tourism Organization. However, to ensure international comparability, the data for some years or countries were manually researched and corrected if they obviously included visitors without overnight stays. In these cases, the data were taken from the official communications of the respective national tourism authorities.

The World Tourism Organization additionally points out that in some countries, the number of tourists is only counted at airports, while in others they are also counted at border crossings or even hotels. A comprehensive and reliable indication is therefore hardly possible in any country.

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