Singapore’s new resorts are the star attraction as the number of visitors to the country soared in 2010

Singapore welcomed record numbers of visitors through its doors in 2010, and it seems that the city state’s flash new resorts are the star attraction.
The Association of Singapore Attractions has just released the results of its first survey into arrivals at its individual members, giving welcome insight for tourism chiefs on exactly who is going to see what when they come to town.
Their results include destinations such as the massive new developments on the city’s Sentosa Island as well as more traditional places such as the Singapore Zoo.
Overall, Singapore attracted a record number of 11.6 million visitors last year.
A total of 31 attractions were polled in February for the survey which showed that overall these places attracted more than 34 million visitors last year, a rise of 56.3 per cent year on year.
Sentosa was the biggest winner which last year saw the official rolling out of attractions at the US$4.4 billion (three billion euro) Resorts World Sentosa, which include a casino-resort and Asia’s first Universal Studios theme park.
Last year visitor numbers to Sentosa soared a massive 185% – from the 2009 mark of 6.2 million to 17.7 million in 2010.
However according to the survey, attractions outside Sentosa suffered an overall drop in numbers of 1.2 per cent but Singapore’s city centre, which features a selection of museums and art galleries, saw a drop of 4.4 per cent.
A spokesman for the Sentosa Leisure Group, which oversees the island, told that the destination was more than just a collection of fancy hotels and rides.
“Easy connectivity between attractions, reduced queuing times and ample retail and food-and-beverage outlets are other factors which have made Sentosa a hit,” he said.
Billions of dollars have been injected into the development of tourist attractions by the Singapore government over the past five years
The Singapore government has injected billions of dollars into developing its tourism attractions over the past five years as it looks to rival other traditional regional destinations such as Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Singapore’s main source of visitors has long been nearby Indonesia and Malaysia but more and more it is marketing itself as a place for Chinese tourists to visit.
Last year the number of Chinese visiting Singapore was an estimated 1.2 million – a rise of 25% from 2009.

Freya Leng