When Kristine Bachini visited Singapore last year, the Filipino tucked into multicultural cuisines at a local food court and enjoyed the modern city-state's glittering skyline from one of the world's largest observation wheels.
Her favorite memory, however, was watching Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova play at the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Finals at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
"I am a huge fan of Sharapova. It was a dream come true to finally see her play live," Bachini told CNBC. The 30-year-old plans to revisit the Southeast Asian country this October when the tennis competition, featuring the world's top eight female singles players, comes around.
Fans like Bachini represent a growing pool of sports tourists, which Singapore wants to attract as it attempts to steer its tourism industry back on track.
Government figures show international visitor arrivals to Singapore dropped 3.1 percent on-year to 15.1 million in 2014. It was the first decline since 2009 and could be attributed to a double-digit decline in Chinese tourist arrivals, the Singapore Tourism Board said. Holidaymakers from the mainland became wary of travelling to the region last year because of political unrest in Thailand, the Malaysia Airlines' twin tragedies and tighter regulations on tour packages in China.