Chinese tourists flock to Singapore stores

For the second year running, Chinese tourists outnumbered those from any other country – and they all flocked to Singapore stores.

According to latest data from the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), in the first half of last year, Singapore received 395,000 visitors from Tier 2 cities – like Chengdu, Chongqing and Nanjing – that’s 71 per cent more than during the first half of 2015.

Visitor arrivals from all Chinese origins rose 36 per cent, which made China the biggest single growth market as well.

And unlike first tier city tourists, tier 2 visitors spend more time shopping than dwelling at casinos.

Low See Peng, STB’s regional director for Greater China, says a growing proportion of Chinese travellers are using social media platforms and online booking services rather than signing up for package tours, leaving them more independent to plan their own days once they land.  

“This is more prevalent among secondary cities as consumers are less experienced in travelling overseas and are generally more price-sensitive,” she added.

In 2016, Chinese tourists were the biggest spenders among Singapore visitors, spending an average $1239 each, excluding sightseeing, entertainment and gaming, according to STB data.

Tourism industry sources say Chinese are attracted to Singapore because of the availability of Chinese food, ability to speak their own language with locals and similar cultural values.

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