New Delhi, 19th May 2022: As revival of international tourism is underway, Singapore Tourism Board (STB) concluded a panel discussion on the topic ‘Singapore Tourism on the pathway tourism recovery’ at the 29th edition of SATTE (South Asia’s Travel & Tourism Exchange) held at the India Expo Mart, Greater Noida, Delhi-NCR on Wednesday 18th May 2022. The discussion was part of Singapore’s larger narrative of SingapoReimagine recovery initiative to chart pathways for tourism recovery with collective efforts. Key topics discussed included trends emerging in post-pandemic, initiatives taken by the STB to encourage the Indian travelers and Singapore’s focus on technology, ingenuities and sustainability to carve a niche in the future of tourism, among others.
The discussion featured prominent industry experts and thought leaders - Mr. Keith Tan, Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board, Ms. Thien Kwee Eng, CEO, Sentosa Development Corporation, Ms. Jean Choi, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Mandai Wild Group and Mr. Peh Ke Wei, Vice President, Market Development, Changi Airport Group (CAG).
As the Covid-19 pandemic starts to ebb across the world, the resumption of international travel and reopening of borders have brought hope and optimism to the tourism industry. Singapore has taken progressive steps towards reimagining a new standard of travel through renewed experiences and elevated standards in technology, sustainability and safety, resulting from the collective efforts of tourism partners. Working closely with Indian trade partner-friends and Singapore tourism stakeholders, the STB seeks to re-inspire and instill confidence among international travellers. Singapore continues to be a top destination of choice for Indian travellers.
Since April 2022, when Singapore started welcoming all vaccinated travellers with no quarantine/testing requirements, the country has witnessed healthy travel demand under the new Vaccinated Travel Framework (VTF), with a significant. The easing of travel restrictions comes at a favourable time for Indian travellers with the start of the peak summer family travel season around the corner.
India is the second most important source market for Singapore tourist arrivals for period 1st January to 28th April 2022, after Indonesia (Australia is 3rd). We had welcomed 91,200 Indian travellers for the period. As of May 2022, 70% of India’s pre Covid flight capacity to Singapore has been restored. Singapore is connected to 14 Indian cities offered by a combination of both full-service and low-cost carriers: Nine in South India: (Chennai, Coimbatore, Trichy, Madurai, Bengaluru, Cochin, Trivandrum, Vizag, Hyderabad); twoin West India: Mumbai, Ahmedabad; and three in North & East India: Delhi, Kolkata, Amritsar
Singapore has also emerged as a key MICE outbound destination in the Indian MICE industry due to its top-notch safety and hygiene standards. Additionally, to become a pioneer in sustainable tourism, STB has developed a destination sustainability strategy and roadmap for the tourism sector in line with the Singapore Green Plan 2030. A focus on environmental sustainability and investments in sustainability solutions, such as food waste management or sustainable building management systems, will also be beneficial in the long run through better resource management.
Speaking on the emphasis for 2022, Mr. Keith Tan, Chief Executive Officer, Singapore Tourism Board, said, “For the current year, our key focus is to deepen and expand our partnership with our stakeholders to promote ‘destination Singapore’ effectively. Singapore has taken a calibrated approach to reopen borders, adapting and innovating to reimagine the future of travel by introducing novel experiences, harnessing technology for evolving customers and ensuring seamless safety and hygiene standards. India continues to be one of the top-performing Vaccinated Travel Framework (VTF) source markets for Singapore and we are grateful for the Indian consumers’ confidence in Singapore’s response to the pandemic and recognising the country’s track record for safety, efficiency and high level of trust. We are also focusing on establishing Singapore as a wellness and sustainability destination with multiple fresh, innovative and environment-friendly initiatives.”
Speaking in the panel for Sentosa region, Ms. Thien Kwee Eng, CEO, Sentosa Development Corporation said, “Sustainability has been a key principle in Sentosa’s development over the past 50 years. With the unveiling of our refreshed Sustainable Sentosa strategic roadmap in 2021, we are stepping up our efforts to build a sustainable future, and safeguard our value proposition as a world-class multifaceted leisure destination for leisure and business travellers. As Sentosa commemorates our Golden Jubilee, we will continue to excite our Indian travellers with new, sustainable, and refreshed offerings. These include a diverse range of attractions, sustainability- and heritage-themed tours, as well as unique leisure experiences like the extension of the Sentosa getaway to our neighbouring Southern Islands, among other offerings.”
Speaking on the strategies for Mandai Wildlife Group, Mrs. Jean Choi, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Mandai Wildlife Group, said, “Being a wildlife conservation organisation, we focus on caring for the planet because we envision a future where nature, wildlife and people thrive together. Within the rainforest setting of our wildlife parks, we harness nature-based and immersive experiences to connect people to the amazing world of animals through meaningful interactions. Every visit and purchase made in our parks come with conservation included, because we support dozens of conservation projects in Singapore and Southeast Asia. India is a top source market for Mandai Wildlife Group, especially at Night Safari and Jurong Bird Park and we look forward to welcoming Indian families back again. With refreshed offerings as well as seasonal programming such as pop-up events and special tours throughout the year, there’s something for everyone.”
Sharing his experience, Mr. Peh Ke Wei, Vice President, Market Development, CAG, said,“ Changi Airport and our airline partners are an integral part of the Singapore experience. We are committed to providing today's discerning travellers with a safe, seamless and refreshing Changi Experience. Under the Vaccinated Travel Framework (VTF) arrangement effective since 22 April, fully vaccinated travellers can take any flight to Singapore to enjoy quarantine-free visits, without requiring an on-arrival test. The COVID-19 safety protocols have also been relaxed significantly in the city. We are seeing strong demand for travel to Singapore from Indian cities”