The Relationship between Tourism Development and Economic Growth in Small countries: Evidence from Singapore

Activity: Talks or PresentationsOther Invited Talks or Presentations


This study investigates the causal relationships between international tourism development and the economic growth of a global city–state – Singapore – drilling into the temporal details of the tourism-economy nexus in small countries. Many studies have examined whether the tourism-led growth hypothesis or the economy-driven-tourism growth hypothesis holds in large developed and emerging countries with mixed and inconclusive results. Still, relatively few studies examine small countries’ tourism-economy nexus and the temporal details of the nexus have not been adequately researched. We looked into the tourism-economy nexus in Singapore using quarterly data from 1991Q1 to 2020Q4 and the Autoregressive Distributed Lag Model, with the long- and short-run dynamics and the feedback loop of the nexus considered. Our statistical findings show that international tourism development leads the economic growth by two quarters in Singapore. Also, there are both ‘consistent’ and ‘contemporaneous’ positive feedback loops between tourism development and economic growth, but those loops cannot last for more than a quarter. From the economic perspective, our study reveals that encouraging tourism activities may accelerate the post-COVID economic recovery of some small countries that rely on tourism. Yet, continuous input is required to sustain the tourism-economy synergy.
Period13 Jun 2023
Event titlePolicy and Comparative Development Studies Seminar Series
Event typeSeminar
OrganisersInstitute of Policy Studies, School of Graduate Studies