Singapore is forging ahead with the opening of a new casino and hotel complex in 2010, despite visitor numbers suffering due to the recession.

Visitor numbers to the destination are down 9% from the UK and people are booking later.

Singapore tourist board area director northern and western Europe Divya Panickar said: “Airline prices have gone down and this has helped. We are actually doing better than our main competitors.

“Our numbers have been encouraging. We want the quality of visitor. Last year we had fewer visitors, but we had an increased spend.

“People are booking much later. People were booking nine months ahead and now it can be as little as three months ahead,” Panickar added.

The opening of the Marina Bay Sands project, an integrated resort offering the only casino in Singapore and the 2,600-room Sky Park hotel, is part of the destination’s continuing development strategy.

But Panickar admitted some project developments for 2012 to 2015 are to be delayed due to the recession. However, the city is going ahead with the opening of a new international cruise terminal in 2011.

Panickar said tour operators are increasingly interested in packaging the destination with more adventurous destinations such as Borneo for a combination of city, beach and jungle.