The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has forecast that direct contributions from travel and tourism to Singapore's gross domestic product (GDP) rise to 5.8 percent this year to 20.3 billion SGD (15.9 billion USD).

Direct contribution, which is defined as GDP generated by industries that deal directly with tourists such as hotels or restaurants, was 19.1 billion SGD last year, or 5.3 percent of GDP.

Together with indirect contribution, which looks at the GDP and jobs supported by investment, general government spending in support of tourism as well as domestic purchases of goods and services by the sector, the total contributions reached 39.7 billion SGD last year. Total contribution is forecast to increase 5.5 percent this year, the WTTC said.

Earlier this year, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) announced that the city-state chalked up a record 15.5 million visitor arrivals last year, a 7.2 percent jump from 2012, while tourism spend increased to 23.5 billion SGD, up 1.6 percent from the previous year.

The STB has forecast visitor arrivals to grow to between 16.3 million and 16.8 million this year, and tourism receipts to be in the range of 23.8 billion SGD to 24.6 billion SGD. The agency set a target for 8 percent in contribution to GDP in 2015 when tourist arrivals will mount to 17 million and tourism receipts to 30 billion SGD.-VNA