Travel News| Taylor Swift’s Singapore Concert Boosts Tourism and European Flight Demand

June 17, 2024
By Carrie Li

Singapore’s Tourism Surge Singapore’s GDP Growth Boosted by Concerts

Singapore’s economy grew by 2.7% in the year’s first quarter, driven by a tourism boom initiated by pop star Taylor Swift’s concert. Other major Coldplay and Ed Sheeran performances contributed to a significant influx of tourists.

This growth outpaced the previous quarter’s 2.2% increase. Singapore’s service sector grew by 3.9% year-on-year from January to March, exceeding the prior quarter’s growth. The Singapore Tourism Board reports that the city-state hosted 4.35 million tourists in the first quarter, about 50% more than last year. As a result, forecasts for 2024 have been revised upwards, with expectations of 15 to 16.5 million international visitors and tourism revenue between SGD 27.5 billion and SGD 29 billion.【Source: NIKKEI Asia】

European Tourism to Remain Strong Through 2024 Record-Breaking Travel Spending Anticipated

The latest “European Travel Trends and Prospects” report from the European Travel Commission (ETC) shows a robust recovery in the European tourism sector. First-quarter data from this year reveal that the number of international visitors (+7.2%) and overnight stays (+6.5%) have surpassed those in 2019. This upswing, which continues from 2023, is primarily driven by solid regional travel from Germany, France, Italy, and the Netherlands.

Southern European destinations are leading the recovery in attracting international tourists, with significant increases observed in Serbia (+47%), Bulgaria (+39%), Turkey (+35%), Malta (+35%), Portugal (+17%), and Spain (+14%). These regions are drawing tourists with their competitively priced holiday options. Nordic countries also see increased tourism activity, with overnight stays exceeding pre-pandemic levels. Notable increases in Norway (+18%), Sweden (+12%), and Denmark (+9%) are fuelled by the popularity of winter sports and the Northern Lights.

Long-haul markets show varied performance, with the United States and Canada maintaining dominance. The first quarter also saw a rise in visitors from Latin America, especially Brazil. However, the recovery in the Asia-Pacific region remains tepid and uneven, with a slow comeback in Japan despite Chinese tourists gradually returning to Europe.

Consumer data also points to increased intra-European and long-haul travel spending in early 2024. Predictions suggest that tourist expenditure in Europe could reach €742.8 billion this year, a 14.3% increase from 2023. This is attributed to inflation and evolving travel preferences, possibly prompting longer stays or more varied experiences. Germany is poised to be the primary source of tourist spending in 2024, contributing to 16% of Europe’s total expenditure.

Major upcoming events, like the Paris Olympics and the UEFA Euro 2024, are expected to draw vast numbers of domestic and international visitors, with a projected 13% increase in Parisian inbound spending and a 24% rise across France compared to 2019. The UEFA Euro will expand beyond Berlin, with matches in ten cities, promising more widespread economic benefits from increased tourism revenue in all host cities.【Source: European Travel Commission】

Travel Insights: Spain Emerges as a Key Driver in Reviving European Outbound Travel for Chinese Tourists

The World Economic Forum’s latest “Travel & Tourism Development Index” for 2024 ranks Spain as the second-strongest global tourism nation, with a score of 5.18 out of 7, just behind the United States at 5.24. Other top countries include Japan, France, Australia, Germany, the UK, China, Italy, and Switzerland.

According to the Spanish Tourist Office, Spain welcomed 28.7 million international visitors in the first four months of 2024, a 13.6% increase from last year. The recovery of Chinese tourists travelling to Europe continues, with Spain leading the way. Despite a general decline in Chinese visitors to Europe, Spain saw a 19% increase, even surpassing 2019 levels. This surge is credited to more flight options, longer stays, and increased spending enthusiasm among Chinese tourists, with Catalonia and Madrid being top destinations. The average age of Chinese visitors is now younger, at 37.4 years.【Source: Spanish Tourist Office】

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