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Monday, 06 March, 2017, 16 : 53 PM [IST]

STB, Dedicating its focus on India

Prasenjit Chakraborty

Buoyed by the encouraging growth from India, Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has singled out its focus areas for 2017 in order to consolidate its position in this market further. Not only that, STB will continue to work closely with the travel trade to intensify its efforts and sustain quality growth from the Indian market. Focusing on Tier-II cities and leveraging on 15 connecting points from various cities of India with more than 230 weekly flights, etc., are some of the steps in this direction. 

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is hopeful of continuing its growth momentum from the Indian market in 2017. Singapore, for the first time crossed the 1-million visitor arrival mark from India in 2015, however, it reached the figure in November 2016, which is a clear indication of importance of Indian market. And in the process, India moved ahead one step in the category of visitors source market. “Now, India has emerged as the fourth largest visitor source market after Indonesia, China and Malaysia,” said G B Srithar, Regional Director, South Asia, Middle East & Africa, Singapore Tourism Board (STB). Importantly, as a tourism receipt generating market, India continues to be third largest after China and Indonesia. From January to September 2016, there was a satisfactory growth in tourism receipts across Singapore’s top 10 inbound source markets. For the second consecutive year, China (+41%) ranked top in tourism receipts, followed by Indonesia (+14%) and India (+37%). Tourism receipts from China increased mainly due to a volume-driven growth, while Indonesia and India saw tourism receipts growing on the back of visitors spending more on shopping and accommodation.

In their endeavour to attract more tourists from India, STB had organised a four-city roadshow in the metro cities Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Chennai. Interestingly, these road shows witnessed around 45 stakeholders of Singapore tourism, comprising DMCs, cruise lines, attractions, hotels etc. “Probably, it is the largest contingent of stakeholders from Singapore tourism to India,” said Srithar. He added, “The presence of so many stakeholders clearly indicates that the Singapore travel trade continues to view India as a very important market and wants to renew their relations with travel agents and partners in India and establish new connections as well.”

Throwing light on the plans for 2017, Srithar said that their target audience from India includes families (with children under 12 years of age), working millennials, cruise travellers, and Meeting & Incentives. “We want to continue portraying Singapore as a very family-friendly destination and to be a high priority on family travel list,” he revealed. Coming to second priority i.e. working millennials, Srithar said this segment too offers huge opportunity as there is growing population of couple, women, passionate travellers who like cycling or want to indulge in eco tourism practices. “We offer a plethora of exciting stuff to do in Singapore for working millennials,” he said. The third and a crucial segment is cruise and according to Srithar, India continues to be the number one international source market for cruising out of Singapore. “We would like to maintain that position. At the end of the year, we have Genting Dream being home ported in Singapore, which is one of the largest ships to be home ported in Singapore, and certainly provides momentum to cruise travel out of Singapore. Together, we have Caribbean Cruises, Princes, Costa and now Star Cruises bringing Genting Dream, so the segment has huge potential,” he opined. In this direction, STB will organise a cruise forum in Mumbai this month, which will dwell on cruise travel and the business of cruising.

For STB, Meeting and Incentive continues to be an important segment from India. “The convention and exhibition segment is growing. However, we have observed many Meeting and Incentives groups coming from India,” said Srithar. In order to provide further fillip to this, STB launched Version 3 of INSPIRE (In Singapore Incentive and Rewards) programme. The INSPIRE scheme aims to incentivise corporate entities to send their groups for incentive programmes to Singapore, which comes with more attractions and value adds.

STB’s Focus areas

  • Families (with children under 12 years of age)
  • Working millenials
  • Cruise travellers
  • Meetings and Incentives
  • Overseas School Trips

STB’s Plans

  • Cruise forum in Mumbai in March
  • Roadshows in June & July in Tier-II cities

Another focus area of STB is the Overseas School Trips (OST) segment. It has been observed that many schools send their students abroad, therefore the segment has certainly emerged as an important one for STB. “Singapore is the natural choice for many schools in India and we want to tap that segment through our partners,” Srithar said. various segments and putting aside reasonable marketing dollars for each of them. We want to amplify our messages through our well respected partners. We acknowledge the support of Indian travel trade for supporting our marketing initiatives and wherever possible will co-invest in marketing Singapore through our partners,” he said.

STB continues to work with Singapore and Indiabased airlines. “Airline partnership is very important tool for us for driving initiatives. Singapore has 15 connecting points from various cities of India, with more than 230 weekly flights by various airlines. We will try to leverage on these cities,” Srithar said. Apart from Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai, STB will also concentrate on cities like Kolkata, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Jalandhar, etc., this year. “In June and July we will conduct roadshows in Tier-II cities of India,” he said.

In order to reach their target, STB will continue to work closely with tourism partners in India to intensify their efforts and sustain quality tourism growth. “We will be engaging more with and deepening our relationship with our partners,” concluded Srithar.

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