One interesting, though not surprising, piece of news this year is Singapore’s emergence as a tourism and entertainment magnet. Total visits in 2010 are expected to hit 12 million, a 25% increase on 2009. They also brought more cash than ever, spending S$18.5 billion (US$14.09 billion). And there is no sign those figures will fall any time soon.

Driving the growth is Singapore’s Integrated Resort (IR) strategy, featuring large-scale developments with integrated casinos, hotels, shopping malls, restaurants and entertainment facilities. About 3000 Malaysians alone visit Singapore’s two IRs (which are not yet 100% operational) every day, spending S$3 million (US$2.28 million) at a time on gaming. Business tourism has also jumped, especially around the Singapore F1 Grand Prix, the only event of its kind held at night. Expenditure at casinos is projected to double next year, reaching US$5.5 billion.

The Singapore Tourism Board knows it faces competition from other regional entertainment hotspots like Macau, but wants to promote itself as a full service hub with services beyond just fun tourism, like financial and health care services. The STB’s new website, YourSingapore, has also been a big hit with 5 million visitors.

source & article: Channel NewsAsia