Singapore incentives on a roll
BANGKOK, 7 October 2010 – Four new attractions and facilities will draw more incentive groups from Thailand, Singapore Tourism Board conventions and meetings director, Oliver Chong Wee Meng, reported Wednesday.
Mr Chong said business tourism was at the core of the city state’s tourism strategy and a new international cruise terminal, the Garden by the Bay; Mandai River Safari and National Arts Gallery would play key roles in attracting regional incentives groups.
Business tourism, sometimes called MICE, represents 30% of Singapore tourism in terms of arrivals and as much as 45% in spending.
Right at the top of the incentive ladder are so called integrated resorts, or casinos, that are helping to draw corporate events and incentives from around the region.
Mr Chong focused on the importance of Thai visitors now ranking 10th in terms of both the arrivals and the tourism spending.
“Singapore welcomed 318,000 Thai visitors who spent S$501 in 2009, while during the first eight months of this year, arrivals have reached 272,000, an increase of 31% over the same period last year.” he said.
Fielding a question on room capacity, he said the island destination had 40,000 rooms with another 5,000 room due to come online in three years. The government controls hotel supply through land use permits.
Singapore faces tough competition in business tourism from rivals Beijing and Tokyo, but there are other players such as Seoul in South Korea and Macau that are making inroads in the events market.
According to Mr Chong, Singapore should receive 11.5 million visitors this year with tourism spending up from S$17.5 to S$18.5 billion. Driving optimism is the current marketing and advertising campaign “YourSingapore.”
Singapore is building its image as a premier events and entertainment centre through the hosting of annual events such as Formula 1 racing and in the sports field the Youth Olympic Games held last August.
It also partners with Messe Berlin to host the annual ITB Asia, a business-to-business travel trade show, 20 to 22 October, as well as the 77th UFI Congress, a Global Association of the Exhibition Industry which will be hosted this November at Marina Bay Sands.