The tourism board in Singapore admitted that this time last year the country
was the preferred destination for more tourists. In September 2008 there were 4.1% less tourists than in September 2007. The blame is cast upon the global economic environment and a stronger local currency. During the past year, Singapore's dollar has strengthened compared to Malaysian and Indonesian currency. Tourists prefer destinations near home or into neighbouring countries.
Singapore Airlines Ltd. did not manage to sell much of its flights in September. It is said that passenger traffic dropped for the first time in three years.
Hotels occupancy declined 11.6 points to 73% in September 2008. Nevertheless, during the F1 Grand Prix in Singapore City, held in September, the average rates for hotel rooms rose almost 50%.
The City expects an increase in the number of visitors by 2015 due to new casino-resorts but Singapore misses tourism target for the time being.
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