Sentosa Development unveils new experiences; inks strategic partnerships with Thomas Cook & SOTC
Sentosa, Singapore’s premier island resort getaway and Asia’s leading leisure destination, is all set to introduce a diverse array of leisure experiences to avid Indian travellers. The new developments were revealed during the visit of Chin Sak Hin, Assistant Chief Executive, Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC), who is here to strengthen SDC’s longstanding relationships with Indian trade partners to ensure that Sentosa is the preferred choice of destination for all Indian travellers to Singapore.
Currently, India is a top source market for Sentosa and accounts for nearly a third of overseas visitors to Sentosa Island for the first half of 2023. To leverage this high growth potential, SDC has inked one-year strategic partnerships with Thomas Cook (India) Limited, India’s leading omnichannel travel services company and its Group Company, SOTC Travel, respectively.
The Memorandum of Understanding aims to deepen the relationship between SDC and Thomas Cook and SOTC; highlight the range of discoveries in Sentosa; and shore up Sentosa’s position as a top-of-mind destination. The partnership will see SDC working closely with Thomas Cook and SOTC on activities such as product development, joint consumer promotions, as well as publicity to raise Sentosa’s profile in the India market, increase Sentosa’s capture rates of the India market particularly in Tier 2 and 3 cities, and grow visitorship to and spend on Sentosa Island. Both Thomas Cook and SOTC will also curate exclusive packages that feature the latest offerings in Sentosa.
The partnership is a timely and strategic move to refresh Sentosa’s brand image among Indian travellers, particularly as the island destination had repositioned itself earlier this year as an island of fulfilling experiences where discovery never ends. The new brand proposition presents opportunities and moments which allow guests to discover a new perspective while enjoying their time on Sentosa.
Speaking about these developments, Chin Sak Hin said, “As a key leisure destination in Singapore with a diverse range of experiences to be discovered, Sentosa remains a favourite for travellers from around the world. We hope that the partnership with Thomas Cook India and SOTC will further enable Indian travellers to discover new possibilities in Sentosa, whether it be enjoying leisure time with the family or participating in extraordinary MICE events on Sentosa’s shores. The Sentosa team will continue to collaborate with our valued travel and MICE trade partners in India and position Sentosa as a destination of choice as the tourism industry recovers.”
Abraham Alapatt, President & Group Head – Marketing, Service Quality, Value Added Services & Innovation, Thomas Cook (India) Limited said, “Indians are travelling like never before! With short hauls and exciting experiential travel steering demand, Sentosa is perfectly poised to capture the strong and growing appetite from the India market. Our MoU with Sentosa Development Corporation hence aims to showcase the premier island getaway’s engaging and enriching experiences – to India’s families/multi-generational families, Young India’s Millennials/Gen Z, couples, ad-hoc groups of friends/colleagues and our power driver corporate MICE segment. Our strategic partnership with Sentosa will focus on extensive product curation, consumer engagement and promotions to drive visitations.”
Daniel D’souza President & Country Head – Holidays, SOTC Travel Limited said, “Singapore’s convenient e-visa and extensive air connectivity have served to drive demand for the premier island getaway of Sentosa – its diversity of attractions and experiential elements making it a preferred destination for Indians. Our strategic partnership is aimed at deepening our relationship with Sentosa while creating vibrant products that appeal to our customers from across metros, mini metros, and Regional India/Bharat’s tier 2 and 3 cities. To inspire demand, our joint marketing campaign intends to promote the destination across optimal media platforms.”
Sentosa has pushed ahead with developments even amid the pandemic, and new discoveries await on the island, including attractions like the SkyHelix Sentosa, Scentopia, and Central Beach Bazaar. Apart from the anticipated return of KidZania Singapore in 2024, the latest offering being unveiled is the Shangri-La Group’s first standalone lifestyle and entertainment precinct, The Palawan@Sentosa, which soft launched on 26 July and redefines beach leisure and entertainment experiences. The new destination sprawls over 183,000-square-foot (or the equivalent of 2 football fields) and features various new-to-Singapore leisure activities for guests of all ages including HyperDrive, an electric go-kart circuit with gamification features that immerses drivers into the world of real-life racing and virtual gaming around a three-level racetrack, and UltraGolf, an 18-hole mini golf course designed for everyone to put their putting skills to test. Two new beach clubs: Splash Tribe, a family-friendly beach club with a sandcastle-themed wet-play zone and an infinity pool, and +Twelve, a terraced beach club boasting 12 cabanas with private plunge pools and a main pool with swim-up bar.
Unique destination for international MICE and events
Sentosa’s unique island charm and natural setting allow for truly ‘out of the boardroom’ MICE experiences and ‘B-Leisure’ activities. SDC also works closely with the Singapore Tourism Board through programmes such as the Singapore MICE Advantage Programme (SMAP) and In Singapore Incentives & Rewards (INSPIRE), to bring MICE groups into Sentosa. This will continue to be key for Sentosa as MICE travel recovers. Under the programme, SDC and its businesses offer a range of complimentary experiences in Sentosa for eligible events, across dining, attractions, thematic-tours, and team-building experiences.
SDC is also working closely with the Singapore Tourism Board to promote Singapore and Sentosa as an ideal luxury wedding destination, leveraging Sentosa’s unique island environment and offerings.