Singapore targets 10M visitors
Tuesday, 12th February 2008
Source : Singapore Tourism Board
The Singapore Tourism Board released its 2008 targets today – to achieve S$15.5 billion in tourism receipts and attract 10.8 million visitor arrivals.

These targets were announced by Mr. S Iswaran, Minister of State for Trade and Industry, at the STB's Tourism Industry Night. The annual event, held at the St Regis Hotel Singapore, was attended by some 500 industry partners from the private and public sectors.

In his welcome address to thank the industry for their contribution to the success of 2007 tourism performance, Chairman of the Board, Mr Simon Israel, commented, "Singapore's tourism sector has improved vastly from a few years ago. Since 2004, we have grown visitor arrivals by 25% to 10.3 million and tourism receipts by 45% to $13.8 billion.  Our Average Room Rates have increased by 66% since 2004, redefining the economics of the industry."

Mr Israel said looking ahead, 2008 was already starting on a strong note with the opening of Changi Airport Terminal 3, several inaugural major international events such as the Singapore Airshow, Singapore International Water Week and ITB Asia, the opening of the Singapore Flyer and the upcoming 2008 FORMULA 1™ SingTel Singapore Grand Prix.

Tourism opportunities ahead

In his speech, Minister Iswaran outlined several key tourism opportunities that Singapore's tourism sector can leverage, particularly in the cruise, hotel, and Business Travel and MICE (Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conventions and Exhibitions) industries. 

Construction of International Cruise Terminal at Marina South

The cruise industry has been identified as a new growth opportunity for Singapore's tourism sector, with an expected 1.5 million cruise passenger throughput for Asia expected by 2010. As such, more international cruise companies are strengthening their presence in the region, using Singapore as a homeport for their ships as they cruise within Asia.

A new International Cruise Terminal at Marina South will be developed, to ensure that Singapore has the right facilities to attract the new generation of larger cruise ships.

This will enable Singapore to successfully capitalise on the global and Asian market growth and become a major cruise hub. The new terminal is expected to be completed in 2010. It will address the current constraints and have features such as larger berths and a larger turning basin. It will also ensure smoother and seamless accessibility for both passengers and cruise ships. More details will be shared in March.

Opportunities in Singapore's hotel sector

The hotel sector is another growth area, given the rising demand for hotel rooms. In recent years, there has been heightened interest among hotel developers to invest here, a trend that will help ease the current hotel room shortage situation.

The next three to four years will see another 12,000 more hotel rooms come on stream as new hotels open. In addition, in the first half of this year, 12 more sites for hotel development will be made available for sale under the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme.

Three new BTMICE players set up base in Singapore

On the Business Travel and MICE front, another three major players have chosen to set up base in Singapore, boosting Singapore's position as a major venue for MICE events and reflecting the positive sentiments of the robust MICE market in Singapore and the region. The presence of these companies will create greater opportunities for local industry players to acquire new capabilities, diversify the channels to reach the international market and raise the professionalism of Singapore's MICE industry.

Kellen Company, one of the world's largest association management companies with over 100 association clients, has forged an alliance with Singapore-based CMA International Consultants Pte Ltd to set up their Asia-Pacific headquarters in Singapore in January 2008. Through this partnership, Kellen Company and CMA aim to provide global solutions to international associations and NGOs and interest their clients to conduct their meetings and business events in Singapore.

The second company is Leipziger Messe GmbH, organiser of the largest interactive gaming exhibition in Europe – Games Convention (Germany). Leipziger Messe will be opening an Asia Pacific office in Singapore in February 2008. The company will be leveraging its position here to further develop Games Convention Asia, which it brought to Singapore in 2007, and tap into the Asia Pacific market for its shows.

The third player setting up its base in Singapore in 2008 is Kenes International, one of the world's leading Professional Conference Organisers. Through its strong background in biomedical events, Kenes will enable Singapore to better anchor and develop biomedical events here and consolidate Singapore's position as Asia's biomedical hub.

Singapore GP Season in conjunction with FORMULA ONE race

The STB also announced the Singapore GP Season, a lifestyle season that will be held in conjunction with the 2008 FORMULA 1™ SingTel Singapore Grand Prix on 28 September 2008.

The Singapore GP Season will span three weekends, with a line-up of special events and festivities for race-goers, visitors and local residents. Some of these key events include the inaugural Singapore River Festival, the already popular Singapore Biennale with installations around the city centre, the Singapore Motorshow at Suntec which will have a FORMULA ONE slant, as well as the acclaimed FORMULA ONE – The Great Design Race exhibition from London.

In addition, the Singapore River Festival will become a signature annual event for the Singapore River. In 2008, the festival will coincide with the FORMULA ONE race, beginning the weekend before and continuing until the 2008 FORMULA 1™ SingTel Singapore Grand Prix on 28 September 2008.

The Singapore River Festival will include concerts on a floating stage, exciting fringe activities, F&B promotions at the various quays and many other entertainment events. More details will be shared in due course.

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