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Thursday, 20 February, 2020, 09 : 00 AM [IST]

The challenge in India is to sustain growth & draw repeat visits consistently: STB

Singapore welcomed over 19.1 million visitors marking 3.3% growth and 1.418 million arrivals from India in 2019. “India is one of our largest source markets for the last 5 years. The challenge now is to continue growing in the Indian market and draw Indians to visit Singapore repeatedly,” said Chang Chee Pey, Assistant Chief Executive, International Group, Singaore Tourism Board (STB) in an exclusive interaction with Samruddhi Chitnis on the sidelines of OTM.

Aiming at growing connections, apart from participating in SATTE, OTM and other travel trade shows, STB has also been conducting road shows. “In the beginning of the year we conduct roadshows for the Tier-I cities and around July we schedule the 8 secondary city roadshows. In 2019, alone we covered close to 30 cities to connect with the travel trade,” said GB Srithar, Regional Director, India, South Asia & Middle East, Singapore Tourism Board.

This year, STB is looking at into newer areas of association meetings that have not been previously targeted. Beyond incentive travel, MICE and other groups, cruise is a major segment for whole of South East Asia region. “We are looking at developing infrastructure of cruise terminals. In 2018, we had signed an Asian Declaration to support cruise tourism in South East Asia. On the demand side, we continuously work with cruise lines and players like Dream Crusies and Royal Caribbean who really have elevated demand from India. We are also working very closely with Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines to boost the cruise sector,” said Srithar.

Adding to the massive potential of cruise segment, Lim Si Ting, Area Director-India and South Asia, Singapore Tourism Board, said, “The main intention is to reengage ourselves in the Indian market again. We are speaking to the travel agents, cruise liners and raising awareness about the products. STB received a great response to a cruise forum in Delhi and hence we plan to conduct a second edition for the same. To secure direct connections with our travel partners we had previously launched with a cruise development scheme (CDS) that supports 50% of the marketing costs for agent partners for selling cruise products. Inclusive of training, roadshows, media buyers promoting cruise packages ads will continue with it,” she added.

From 2019, STB has announced new investments and attractions planned for the next 5 years. Chee Pey informed that the apart from the Singapore Zoo, night safari, river safari at Mandai area, recreation of Batak colony in Jurong Bird Park, new rainforest attractions and indoor attractions are 6 additions aligned for the near future. “Besides these 6 additions we are also looking at accommodations in Mandai,” he said.

Moreover, Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa have announced new investments in exchange of their extension for their exclusivity and gaming license on the occasion of its 10th anniversary.“Marina Bay Sands will be adding a brand new hotel block having a capacity to accommodate 17,000 people at a time which is suitable for concerts, MICE and indoor events in 2025,” informed Chee Pey.

“On the other hand, Resorts World Sentosa will be redoing the sea aquarium transforming that into a Singapore oceanarium three times bigger than what it is currently, and add on to few other attractions,” exclaimed Chee Pey.

Throwing light on the marketing strategies, Srithar said that, for Singapore the overarching good is about telling great Singapore stories, targeting the right audience and enhancing the delivery of message. “Our priority is communicating the right message to the audience at the right time.”


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