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International visitor arrivals hit record 15.5m in 2013

International visitor arrivals are expected to have increased by 7.2 percent last year to 15.5 million, the highest in the past decade.

SINGAPORE : International visitor arrivals are expected to have increased by 7.2 percent last year to 15.5 million, the highest in the past decade.

This compares to 14.5 million in 2012.

While the most number of foreign visitors were from Indonesia, the largest growth was seen in travellers from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said, citing preliminary estimates.

These projections are made based on the arrivals during the months January to September 2013.

The number of visitors who came here for leisure jumped by 12 per cent compared to the same period in 2012 while business travel saw a 6 per cent increase.

Tourist spending is expected to have increased to S$23.6 billion, up by S$0.4 billion in 2012.

During January to September last year, leisure visitors spent 10 per cent more while business travellers spent 6 per cent less compared to 2012.

This is due to a cutback in corporate spending, despite an increase in business travel last year.

Lionel Yeo, Chief Executive of STB, said: "We will have to accept that some of this will be cyclical in nature - around the world, because of the greater global economy uncertainty, corporates are cutting back on their travel budgets and that's something that will affect all of us."

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