Tourism chiefs from one of Southeast Asia’s most dynamic tourism hotspots have expressed confidence that the Singapore Pavilion at …
Tourism chiefs from one of Southeast Asia’s most dynamic tourism hotspots have expressed confidence that the Singapore Pavilion at this year’s Arabian Travel Market 2005 will be the largest yet, reflecting ongoing growth in traveller numbers from the Middle East.
Building upon the highly-successful “Uniquely Singapore” campaign, which promotes Singapore’s unique blend of traditions, cultures and modernity, the pavilion will host representatives from some of Singapore’s leading tourist attractions, travel companies, and hotels, including a number of first-time exhibitors.
“The major trends that we are identifying for 2005 include rising demand for ‘unique holiday experiences’, along with increasing interest in the concept of wellness holidays, an idea that extends from spas and relaxing beach holidays, right through to medical tourism,” said Alan Tan, area director, Middle East and Africa, Singapore Tourism Board.
“Singapore’s exciting calendar of upcoming events and festivals in the summer months, our world-class Zoo, Night Safari, Bird Park, and Sentosa Island – some of our top attractions – are anticipated to be among the other major draws for 2005,” added Tan.
Tourism plays a major part in the Southeast Asian nation’s dynamic economy, generating an estimated S$9.6 billion (UAE 21.3 billion) in tourism receipts in 2004. Singapore also welcomed 8.3 million visitors in 2004, a record high and a significant increase of 36 per cent over 2003 and 10 per cent over 2002.
In recent months, interest in Singapore has been further stimulated by a number of bilateral agreements with Middle East countries. Most recently, Singapore and Bahrain have signed an open skies agreement that removes all bilateral restrictions on passenger and cargo flights for their national airlines.
Additionally, visitor numbers are being driven by a series of major festivals scheduled to run over the summer. These include the famous Great Singapore Sale – one of Southeast Asia’s largest city-wide sales – and the Singapore Food Festival, both of which will be profiled during ATM.
Shopping remains one of Singapore’s key attractions, with the Singapore Tourism Board currently set to invest over S$40 million to enhance the landscape and infrastructure of Orchard Road, transforming it into one of the world’s greatest shopping streets.
Exhibitions at ATM
Among the attractions at the Singapore Pavilion this year will be Underwater World Singapore, one of Asia`s most popular oceanariums built upon the famous Sentosa Island.
In addition, some of Singapore’s legendary hotel groups will be represented on the stand, including the Orchard Hotel, Carlton Hotel, Conrad Centennial, Four Seasons Hotel, Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, Sheraton Towers Singapore, Pan Pacific, Rendezvous Hotel, Far East Organization Hotels, and Marriott Hotel.
“Singapore has a rich culture of hospitality, with a very diverse range of hotels – including some of the world’s most luxurious – and we’re expecting a very productive dialogue with trade professionals from across the Middle East,” said Tan.
Other highlights will include a range of cultural events tied to the theme of “Uniquely Singapore.”