STB ups its Indian promotion, pitches for longer itineraries
“Sentosa deserves three or four days. Another four days for mainland Singapore. That’s one week or nine-ten days itinerary” – Keith Tan, CEO, STB
With China, Indonesia and India being its top three markets, and Chinese outbound travel still reeling under the highly restrictive zero-Covid state policy, Singapore is keen to rebuild its traffic from other markets, India being key amongst them. The NTO, Singapore Tourism Board (STB), led by its CEO, Keith Tan, was in India in strength attending SATTE. The aim was to send out the message that Singapore is open, ready, without any travel restrictions and even more attractive than before, and reignite the destination spark amongst Indian tourism trade and travellers. Importantly, he also strongly argued for at least a week-long itineraries in view of Singapore’s diverse tourism offerings.
Pitching the city-state, spread a little over 700 sq kms, as an exciting amalgamation of attractions, experiences and services in a way that makes Singapore unique as a destination of choice for visitors across ages and segments, Tan stressed, “Singapore has been an attractive destination to Indian travellers, for example, families and children, young professionals who are looking for exciting and safe destination to visit. It has many attributes, many attractions and many experiences to cater to different sectors.”
The NTO chief particularly pointed one of Singapore’s recent addition ‘Museum of Ice Cream’ to its diverse array of attractions and experiences. The museum opened during the pandemic. “The first Museum of Ice Cream opened in the US and it was wildly popular among the millennial, younger people, teenagers. And now we, in Singapore, are the first destination in the world outside of the US to host a Museum of Ice Cream,” he said, while adding the museum has become very popular with a lot of Indian families and children as well as young professionals and millennials.
“And this is just one example. There is a range of different attractions in Sentosa. The key thing is this that there is nowhere else in the world you can get these attractions and personalised sense. Nowhere else in the world you would be able to see a rainforest in an airport. These are attractions and experiences that are unique to Singapore.”
Tan also stressed that the industry needs to consider Singapore for longer itineraries, from a week to nine-ten days. “In the past, a lot of travellers thought of Singapore as a short-haul destination, at the most three days. We have been working hard, even before Covid, to change that perception. We need to show how there are many more things to do in Singapore. For example, Sentosa deserves more than just two hours of visit. Sentosa deserves three or four days. Another four days for mainland Singapore. That’s one week or nine-ten days itinerary,” he insisted.
“First of all we need to work with our marketing team to showcase more of these attractions and experiences that are worth the time and money of the travellers. And secondly, of course then we need to work with our travel trade partners so that they can build those itineraries,” he further added.