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OIiver Chong, Head of Communications of the Singapore Tourism Board about Art tourism in the city

“Singapore's Vibrancy as an Arts and Entertainment City”

How important is the contribution or the motivation for arts in travellers’ intention to Singapore? Are they some data indicating what travellers do in Singapore?

Oliver Chong– The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) recognises the role played by the Arts and Entertainment in contributing to Singapore‟s profile as a vibrant destination offering quality lifestyle and entertainment options. These Arts and Entertainment events broaden the spectrum of leisure and lifestyle events available to business and leisure visitors, and strengthen Singapore’s position as one of Asia’s arts and entertainment capitals.

Are arts activities and the promotion of Singapore as an art centre still an utmost important topic in the STB and government’s strategy?

Oliver Chong– Overall, the development of the arts is important on numerous fronts – as a cultural asset, as a tool for Singaporeans to express themselves creatively and as an opportunity for visitors to experience Singapore through the city’s arts and culture. Singapore is also currently seeing significant infrastructural developments that will further the growth of the arts and entertainment scene, from The Meadow at Gardens by the Bay and the art galleries at Gillman Barracks, to the upcoming Sports Hub and National Art Gallery. The Arts scene has also enjoyed tremendous vibrancy with events like Art Stage Singapore, the Affordable Art Fair, and the Singapore Biennale. The new upcoming venues will offer tremendous opportunities to host world class events and exhibitions to further enhance the visitor experience.

How does this involvement translate concretely?

Oliver Chong– STB’s specific involvement in the growth of Arts and Entertainment is reflected in three main areas such as the support of businesses and innovative concepts that have strong potential for sustainability and in delivering a quality destination experience to visitors. There is also a marketing support through our regional and marketing offices around the globe; and finally, an Inter-agency Facilitation and Support. STB works closely with different government agencies to develop Singapore’s arts industry.

Are there any marketing campaigns launched regarding arts promotion/events? What are Singapore most frequented festivals? Are they also promoted abroad? Which markets are the keenest to visit Singapore for arts?

Oliver Chong– Apart from providing local and international marketing support to assist international and home-grown arts and entertainment events, STB has also launched in 2011 the TicketCube – Singapore’s first-ever event concierge that aggregates four local ticketing service providers, namely ApeSnap, Gatecrash, SISTIC and TicketBooth. This offers consumers, particularly tourists, access to a multitude of shows under one roof while simultaneously raising awareness and visibility of arts and entertainment events in Singapore.

Singapore’s vibrant lineup of Arts and Entertainment events has enjoyed strong interest from regional markets like Indonesia and Malaysia. Such events thus feature strongly in STB’s marketing initiatives in these countries.

What are the new initiative or new projects of Arts City Singapore?

Oliver Chong– Two of Singapore’s historic monuments, the City Hall and the adjacent former Supreme Court building, will be transformed into the National Art Gallery of Singapore by 2015. The National Art Gallery will be dedicated to the display, appreciation, promotion, research and study of Southeast Asian and Singaporean art, as well as host international art exhibitions. The gallery will not only contribute towards building Singapore’s reputation as a regional and international hub for the visual arts, but will also become a tourist destination for visitors to enjoy the historic colonial buildings, and to understand the visual arts culture of Southeast Asia and Singapore.

There is also the fourth edition of Singapore’s premier contemporary art exhibition, Singapore Biennale 2013 (SB 2013), returns in 2013. Titled “If The World Changed”, it will take place from 26 October 2013 to 16 February 2014.

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Luc Citrinot a French national is a freelance journalist and consultant in tourism and air transport with over 20 years experience. Based in Paris and Bangkok, he works for various travel and air transport trade publications in Europe and Asia.