Karen Yue, Singapore (2008-04-17)

SINGAPORE'S inbound agents, already racked by high room rates, will take a further beating from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)'s decision to strengthen the Singapore dollar, which will make it more expensive for tourists to visit Singap..." />
 
Thursday . June 20 . 2019
         
 
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Stronger SGD worries agents
 
Karen Yue, Singapore (2008-04-17)

SINGAPORE'S inbound agents, already racked by high room rates, will take a further beating from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)'s decision to strengthen the Singapore dollar, which will make it more expensive for tourists to visit Singapore. The exchange rate is now about S$1.36 to the US dollar.

According to MAS, the decision is made in response to "continuing cost pressures" and would be Singapore's defence against inflation. The stronger Singapore dollar will make imports cheaper, but will make Singapore's products more expensive, and therefore less competitive in the global marketplace.

Inbound travel agents are very worried and expect selling Singapore to be even more challenging this year.

Hong Thai Travel Services inbound tour senior manager, Mr Tony Aw, said: "This will be a double impact on Singapore's tourism. Several hotels have increased their rates further this year, making hotel accommodation even pricier. And now this. Inbound will definitely be affected. Outbound will flourish. Travellers will always consider their expenditure when deciding where to go, and will prefer value-for-money destinations. Destinations that are pegged to the US dollar will benefit."

NTA Travel (Singapore) Pte Ltd assistant general manager, Mr Jason Hin, said: "We have already seen some reluctance from the Japanese inbound travellers last year due to the rising overall costs and higher hotel rates in Singapore. With the stronger Singapore dollar, I would think that it would be worse this year."

Travel agents say that travellers who are keen on Asia are likely to give Singapore a miss and head to cheaper destinations such as Malaysia and Bangkok.

 
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