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Saturday, 17 November, 2012, 17 : 41 PM [IST]

“Indian travellers are much more sophisticated today” - Chang Chee Pey, Executive Director - South Asia, Middle East & Africa, STB

In a chat at the launch of Singapore Tourism Board’s (STB) latest marketing campaign in Mumbai, Chang Chee Pey, Executive Director - South Asia, Middle East & Africa, STB, talks to Lyandra D’souza about the evolution of the Indian market and the varied offerings of Singapore
Q. What is the objective behind STB’s new differentiated marketing campaign?
STB has constantly made an attempt to deepen its understanding of the Indian market and has observed changes in the travelling patterns and the way Indians research and plan their trips. The in-market interactions have uncovered preferences for families to travel and bond together through shared learning experiences. To tap the need of evolved Indian travellers for more engaging and enriching experiences, we have launched our latest campaign in India, ‘Singapore - The Holiday You Take Home With You.’ The campaign introduces Indian travellers to new experiences within four core experience pillars - Family Fun, Active Lifestyle, Culinary, and Romance - and empowers visitors to personalise their Singapore experiences. It puts the spotlight on the latest tourism offerings and familiar favourites to entice visitors to visit and re-visit Singapore.

Q. How important is the India market for Singapore Tourism?
India has consistently been among the top five performing markets for Singapore, in terms of visitor arrivals and tourism receipts. The last decade has seen tremendous economic growth and fast-paced lifestyle trends that have contributed to India’s potential as a sought-after outbound travel market. India has emerged as one of the top five visitor generating markets for Singapore for the past five years. A total of 13,200,000 (13.2 million) global tourists visited Singapore in 2011, displaying a 13 per cent year on year growth. With the tremendous economic growth in India in the last decade, coupled with evolving lifestyle changes and aspirational values, a total of 8, 69,000 Indian tourists visited Singapore in 2011, displaying a five per cent year-on-year growth.

The preliminary tourism receipts generated by Singapore for 2011 are estimated at SGD 22.2 billion, charting a new high and registering a year-on-year growth of 17 per cent. India recorded SGD 296 million tourism receipts in Q3 2011, with accommodation comprising 32 per cent, shopping (22 per cent) and F&B (15 per cent). In 2010, India contributed SGD 911 million, a 19 per cent year-on-year increase to the overall tourism receipts including shopping, accommodation, F&B, airfare, local transportation and education among other components, excluding spend on sightseeing and entertainment. Shopping made up a substantial 28 per cent of the overall Indian spends vis-à-vis accommodation (24 per cent) and F&B (14 per cent). Indians are also among the top spenders in Singapore, ranking fourth in 2010, after Indonesians, Chinese and Australians.

Q. Which products do you plan to promote?
Within the next six months, new attractions and various experiential offerings will help push our tourism transformation even further. Our latest tourism offerings include Gardens By The Bay, the Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore and the soon-to-be-opened Marine Life Park at the Resorts World Sentosa and River Safari.

Q.  In comparison to your previous stint in India a decade ago, how has the Indian market evolved? How do you plan to engage with the Indian travel trade?
My previous tenure in India was from 1999-2002. Since then, Indian outbound market has evolved and grown exponentially. Indian travellers are much more sophisticated today. Increasingly, the discerning global Indian travellers are seeking fresh and varied travel experiences catering to their passions and interests. With regard to the Indian travel trade, STB plans to engage much more actively with them in the near future. Our target cities are Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru, and we plan to conduct workshops, seminars and training programmes in all four cities for the travel trade. We also plan to conduct a road show in Mumbai in early 2013 and participate in major trade shows like SATTE 2013.
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