Singapore tourism to recover in two years: Minister


SINGAPORE – While the current economic slowdown has affected Singapore’s tourism industry, the city-state expects momentum for the industry to recover in two years’ time, China’s XINHUA quoted the Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang, as saying on Wednesday.

Speaking at a tourism industry event, Lim said, “With our strong business fundamentals and low unemployment rate, coupled with the exciting pipeline of tourism projects coming on-stream, we expect momentum for our tourism industry to recover in two years’ time, allowing us to participate effectively in the expected growth of the region.”

He noted that while the current economic slowdown may affect the tourism industry in the short term, the region is expected to rebound and grow in the medium term, bolstered by the continued expansion of China and India.

So he encouraged local and international tourism partners to continue working together, forging new partnerships, investing in the development and training of staff, as well as committing to capability building in Asian markets.

He pointed out that 2010 will be a watershed year for Singapore’s tourism industry, with major projects such as two casino resorts, Phase one of a garden named Gardens by the Bay, and the new Marina Bay Financial Center.

In the same year, Singapore will also host the first-ever summer Youth Olympic Games which will welcome about 15,000 overseas participants.

“The exciting new developments in 2010 will enhance Singapore’s value proposition to beyond just a tropical shopping paradise.

Indeed, by injecting new attractions and introducing more exciting world class events like the Formula One Grand Prix, our vision is to transform Singapore into a vibrant global city for all to live, work and play,” he said.

He believed the city-state will reach the target to welcome 17 million visitors and achieve a record 30 billion Singapore dollars (US$20 billion) in tourism receipts by 2015.