The Impact of Corona Outbreak, Singapore Loses 20,000 Travelers Every Day

 Not only Indonesia, the tourism sector in Singapore is also significantly affected by the spread of the corona virus outbreak . The Lion country lost tourists from China who became the main contributor to tourists in Singapore, especially after local authorities banned all flights from China landing in Singapore. 

John Gregory Conceicao, Executive Director of the Singapore Tourism Board for the South East Asia International Group said in general, Singapore is predicted to experience a decline in tourist visit rates by 25-30 percent by 2020. This clearly affects the country's GDP, with four percent of which contributed by tourism sector.

"We lose 20,000 tourists every day (after closing access to China)," he said at a press conference in Jakarta, Tuesday (02/18/2020).
John explained China for the fourth year in a row ranked first as a contributor to tourist visits to Singapore . In 2019 alone, the number of Chinese tourists visiting Singapore will reach 3.3 million. After the closure policy was put in place, practically no Chinese citizens visited the country. 

"The policy needs to be taken by our government because Singapore is very small, congested, and multinational. With that in mind, we must guard our borders," he said.

Learning from experience dealing with SARS in 2003, the government needed about five months to restore the tourism sector in Singapore. However, John predicts it will require more time before the situation returns to normal and conducive.

"Maybe around 5-7 months. During that time, we will do everything to keep the citizens and tourists who come to Singapore," he continued.

So far, Singapore has confirmed 77 cases of corona- positive patients with 26 of them being discharged. Singapore made sure they were transparent about handling the deadly virus that was first spreading widely in Wuhan.

Indonesia is the mainstay

Meanwhile, Indonesia became the second largest contributor to tourist visits to Singapore. In fact, the number of tourist arrivals from Indonesia set a record in 2019 with 3.11 million people.

Indonesia's Area Director for the Singapore Tourism Board, Mohamed Firhan Abdul Salam, said the visit rate increased by around 3 percent from the previous year. The amount of foreign exchange that Singapore gained from Indonesian tourist visits increased by around 6 percent or reached 2.26 billion Singapore dollars.

Thus, Singapore considers Indonesia as one of the most important markets for the country nicknamed the red dot . Moreover, continued Firhan, Indonesia is also a market that is resilient to the mirror of the case of corona outbreaks and SARS.

"Visitors from Indonesia still come and don't panic (despite a corona outbreak)," he said.

In addition to a variety of preventive actions taken by the government, Singapore also said that the attitude of the Indonesian government that did not issue a travel ban also affected the attitude of Indonesian tourists. They still came, although it was acknowledged that there had been canceled or delayed visits to the country. So far, Singapore also does not limit the arrival of tourists to all destinations.

"Just be warned to maintain personal hygiene. If you are sick, consult a doctor directly," he said. 

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