The Malaysia Airlines' twin tragedies and the unrest in Thailand may have taken the wind out of the sails of Singapore's tourism sector, but one segment in particular is bucking the downtrend: luxury travel.
A stay at the city-state's iconic Raffles Hotel, a swim in the infinity pool on the top of Marina Bay Sands and high-end gourmet experiences are what keep the rich coming. Industry players tell CNBC that the Singapore state remains a highly sought-after vacation spot among the rich from the U.S., Hong Kong, Taiwan and most recently, Russia.
"[Luxury travel in Singapore] is really picking up. Singapore's become fashionable and acquired a cool in a way that was unthinkable just a few years ago,"Hajar Ali, founder of luxury travel operator Urbane Nomads, told CNBC via email.
"A country that was once described as 'Disneyland with a death penalty' now lists [as] one of the coolest cities in the world, according to British Vogue," she added.
A city of 5.3 million, Singapore is one of Asia's most developed and affluent countries. Synonymous with its reputation for a high quality of life, low crime rates, superior infrastructure and cleanliness, Singapore has also been regularly named as one of the world's most expensive cities. Transport costs in the city-state, for example, are almost three times higher than in New York, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit's (EIU) Worldwide Cost of Living survey released earlier this year.
Government figures show international visitor arrivals to Singapore for the first half of the year fell 2.8 percent on-year to 7.5 million. This is due mainly to a decline in Chinese visitor arrivals, the Singapore Tourism Board said.
Tourists from China have become wary of traveling to the region because of political unrest in Thailand, the disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines flight in March and a new Chinese law that restricts cheap tour packages.
But for wealthy holidaymakers, these concerns appear to be of little deterrent to visiting Singapore, which they see as a safe and orderly holiday destination. In addition, travelers who are on their first visit to Asia also prefer Singapore as it provides "less of a culture shock", noted Tim Russell, Marketing Director of New York-based luxury travel designer Remote Lands.
With gourmet experiences being one of the main requirements among wealthy jetsetters, Singapore's wide variety of delicacies is a huge draw.