Singapore hosts 6.2 percent more visitors in 2017 on rise in Chinese tourists

Drones form a Merlion, a tourism icon, during Singapore's 52nd National Day celebrations at Marina Bay, Singapore August 9, 2017. REUTERS/Edgar Su/Files

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore's visitor arrivals rose 6.2 percent to a record 17.4 million last year as the city-state welcomed more travellers from countries such as China, its top market, and India.

Tourism receipts rose 3.9 percent to S$26.8 billion ($20.20 billion) in 2017, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said on Monday, based on preliminary estimates. Both tourism receipts and visitor arrivals touched record highs for the second time in two years.

The board expects visitor arrivals in the range of 17.6 million to 18.1 million for 2018. It also forecast tourism receipts between S$27.1 billion and S$27.6 billion for this year.

Singapore, which relies on tourism for about 4 percent of its economic output, has built a reputation for glitzy shopping malls, street food, casinos and the Formula One night race.

($1 = 1.3266 Singapore dollars)

(Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)