Capitalising on Singapore’s recent ranking among the world’s top three cities for meetings and as Asia’s top Country and City for meetings by the Union of International Associations, the Singapore Exhibition and Convention Bureau
(SECB), a group of the Singapore Tourism Board is attending EIBTM, the global meetings and incentives exhibition in Barcelona, Spain, together with a delegation of 19 Singapore tourism organisations.
The Singapore delegation will share with the European MICE industry the latest developments in Singapore’s business events industry and showcase upcoming landmark projects as it continues to attract and spearhead major tourism investments that will significantly transform the cityscape and enhance Singapore’s appeal as a premier and vibrant business destination.
Last year Singapore’s Business Travel and Meetings, Incentives, Exhibition and Convention (BTMICE) industry performed strongly, accounting for 3 million visitor arrivals in Singapore, 28% of the total and 35% or €2 billion of total tourism receipts. The performance reflects the SECB’s business strategy focus on securing business events centered on Singapore’s key economic drivers and leveraging its strategic location in Asia-Pacific and pro-business environment.
Some of the new events that Singapore has secured include Games Convention Asia 2007, Imaging Expo Singapore and P.I.X – Photo Imaging X-change 2007, FDI World Dental Federation Congress, International Conference on Thalassaemia and Haemoglobinopathies and the inaugural ITB Asia. These events, being staged or home-based in Singapore, were drawn to Singapore’s effective reach into Asia- Pacific for new markets and networks development as well as the support rendered by SECB and the industry through the “BE in Singapore” incentive scheme designed to help MICE organisers stage a successful event in Singapore.
Mr Aloysius Arlando, Assistant Chief Executive (BTMICE Group), STB said: “Singapore has witnessed sterling results in recent times as we ramp up our efforts to capture a bigger slice of the BTMICE market. However, in today’s competitive environment, it is no longer enough to have an established track record, quality infrastructure, strong transportation, trade and communication connectivity. A dynamic and integrated MICE city also needs the “X-factor” – vibrancy, colour and excitement to draw business events and discerning business travellers from all over the world.”
Construction and development is feverishly underway to realise this ambition and a raft of new projects are planned to come on stream over the next three years which will further enhance the BTMICE experience.
Opening in March 2008, the much anticipated Singapore Flyer, the world’s highest observation wheel, will be Singapore’s most visible attraction, offering visitors a breathtaking view out over the South China Sea. The panoramic views of the glimmering harbour and city skyscrapers will create a visually exciting venue for groups holding private functions and meetings.
In September 2008, subject to final safety approvals, Singapore will host the world’s first ever Formula One night race which will also be the first Formula One street race in Asia, making it perhaps the most spectacular event in the history of the sport.
Opening in 2009, is Marina Bay Sands, a high intensity mixed-use integrated resort located along the vibrant Marina Bay waterfront. It will add more than 100,000 sq m of MICE space and 2,500 hotel rooms to Singapore’s tourism infrastructure along with enhancing Singapore’s entertainment, retail and dining scene.
Mr Arlando said: “Singapore must continue to attract and spearhead major tourism investments and lifestyle attractions that will augment Singapore’s position as a vibrant destination for BTMICE travelers. Iconic projects like these will not only increase Singapore’s MICE space, but enhance the appeal of Singapore as a destination that offers a unique and all-encompassing experience for all business delegates.”
Resorts World at Sentosa, opening in 2010, will further position Singapore as a fun and exciting incentive travel destination. It will offer four major attractions including the very first Universal Studios theme park in Southeast Asia, along with other lifestyle experiences including a plethora of dining outlets, shopping options, outdoor entertainment and six hotels offering some 1,800 rooms.
Other inventive developments in the pipeline that will provide facilities for MICE events include the Gardens by the Bay, a SGD1 billion (€500 million), 94 hectare green oasis in the heart of Singapore’s Central Business District, reinforcing Singapore’s tropical garden city reputation.
Mr Arlando concluded: “Amidst intensifying competition, Singapore is keenly aware of the need to continually re-invent itself to remain a relevant, compelling and appealing MICE destination. We are moving beyond being merely an efficient and effective venue. In addition to offering a full complement of products and attractions, we are able to provide a personalised service that caters for the individual needs of the business traveler and MICE organiser. Through investment and partnerships, we are striving to be a catalyst for business success and an exchange capital of the world where people, technology and ideas converge to create value for both business events and visitors. I’m confident that the buoyant outlook of the Singapore’s MICE industry will continue, especially with the vibrant calendar of business events in the pipeline, and many exciting tourism developments in the coming years.”