Philippines is now 6th largest market for Singapore tourism

Davao City (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - More and more Filipinos are visiting Singapore these days, making the Philippines the sixth largest market for the city-state's tourism industry, a Singaporean tourism official said here.

Sherina Chan, Singapore Tourism Board director for the Philippines and Brunei, said the Philippines was emerging as a fast-growing market for the city-state, and was now ranked alongside China and Taiwan.

"From 10th place in 2010 for Singapore tourist arrivals, the Philippines climbed to the 6th level, indicating a marked growth," she told reporters.

Chan said STB data showed that the number of Filipino visitors to Singapore rose to 678,000 last year from 544,000 in 2010, an increase of 24percent.

Chan said several things could explain the increase in number of Filipino tourists to Singapore, principally a growing economy that was giving Filipinos more disposable income.

She also cited the growing number of flights to Singapore, particularly by low-cost carriers, and the physical landscape or attractions of Singapore.

Currently, Chan said, there are 151 flights from various Philippine cities, including Davao, to Singapore.

The STB data also showed that an increasing number of Filipinos were working and living in Singapore, she said. Currently, about 160,000 Filipinos work and live in the city state, Chan said.

"With this number, Filipinos are becoming Singapore's good ambassadors. The number of family members, relatives, and friends frequenting Singapore as tourists contributed to the figure in tourist arrivals," she said.

Chan said Singaporeans, learning from Filipinos there, also made the Philippines one of their top Asian destinations.

The country's beautiful beaches, she said, were among the most popular among Singaporean tourists.

The department of tourism said about 200,000 Singaporeans came to the Philippines last year, making Singapore the country's second largest tourism market.

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