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Written reply to PQ on impact of haze on tourism

Written reply to PQ on impact of haze on tourism

Question

Mr Saktiandi Supaat: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (a) what is the impact of the haze on tourist arrivals in Singapore; and (b) what has been the impact of haze on attendances at major events here.

Written reply (to be attributed to Minister for Trade & Industry Mr Chan Chun Sing)

1. From January to September 2019, tourist arrivals grew by 2.1% compared to the same period in 2018 to reach about 14.3 million. We are unable to ascertain the exact impact of the haze on tourist arrivals, but it is possible that our tourist numbers could have grown even more if not for the haze in August and September.  

2. Transboundary haze has been a persistent problem in our region and could have a negative impact on outdoor activities. The extent of the impact depends on the severity and duration of the haze. For this year, we have been fortunate that it has not caused major disruptions in our economy thus far. However, this may not always be the case if the haze persists.  This is why it is important for Singapore to continue working with our neighbours to implement haze mitigation measures and to ensure our economy is sufficiently diversified to remain resilient to external shocks. 

3. The impact of transboundary haze is far-reaching. It is not just Singapore’s economy and the health of our people that are affected, but the economies and health of those in the region as well. The fires also released large amounts of greenhouse gases which add to global warming concerns. It is important for ASEAN countries to work together to tackle this serious problem, and prevent the haze from recurring.

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