Singapore smog hurts businesses, tourism

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SingaporeSmog_2Singapore official fear that the severe air pollution in the city state, caused by Sumatra forest fires, could broadly dent the economy, especially in tourism and retail.

Other countries have started issuing travel warnings for their citizens to visit Singapore, namely the UK and Thailand. Tourists are leaving the country in droves, fearing that Singapore’s Changi airport might be forced to close down. So far, there have been numerous delays in air traffic due to reduced visibility.

The sensitive tourism industry is already beginning to take a hit. Resorts World Sentosa has closed several outdoor attractions, while Wildlife Reserves Singapore, which runs the Singapore Zoo, said it had observed a decline in visitor numbers.

Fast-food chains such as McDonalds and Pizza Hut have stopped making deliveries to protect their staff from the smog.

singapore_smog_graph
Click to enlarge

Analysts estimate that the smog will lead to a 10 to 15 per cent decline in tourist arrivals and retail sales over a month and will have a financial impact on the city state of about $300 million in the period, a value seen by others as “conservative”.

While Indonesian authorities have begun fighting against the fires, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has warned that the smog could even last until Sumatra’s dry season ends in September or October.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Singapore official fear that the severe air pollution in the city state, caused by Sumatra forest fires, could broadly dent the economy, especially in tourism and retail.

Reading Time: 1 minute

SingaporeSmog_2Singapore official fear that the severe air pollution in the city state, caused by Sumatra forest fires, could broadly dent the economy, especially in tourism and retail.

Other countries have started issuing travel warnings for their citizens to visit Singapore, namely the UK and Thailand. Tourists are leaving the country in droves, fearing that Singapore’s Changi airport might be forced to close down. So far, there have been numerous delays in air traffic due to reduced visibility.

The sensitive tourism industry is already beginning to take a hit. Resorts World Sentosa has closed several outdoor attractions, while Wildlife Reserves Singapore, which runs the Singapore Zoo, said it had observed a decline in visitor numbers.

Fast-food chains such as McDonalds and Pizza Hut have stopped making deliveries to protect their staff from the smog.

singapore_smog_graph
Click to enlarge

Analysts estimate that the smog will lead to a 10 to 15 per cent decline in tourist arrivals and retail sales over a month and will have a financial impact on the city state of about $300 million in the period, a value seen by others as “conservative”.

While Indonesian authorities have begun fighting against the fires, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has warned that the smog could even last until Sumatra’s dry season ends in September or October.

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