As part of a sustained campaign to revitalise international tourism, especially in the India-Singapore corridor, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) held a panel discussion on the topic ‘Singapore Tourism on the pathway to tourism recovery’ at the 29th edition of South Asia’s Travel and Tourism Exchange (SATTE) held at the India Expo Mart, Greater Noida, Delhi-NCR.
The panel discussion featured Keith Tan, Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board, Thien Kwee Eng, CEO, Sentosa Development Corporation, Peh Ke Wei, Vice President, Market Development, Changi Airport Group (CAG) and Jean Choi, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Mandai Wild Group.
Speaking on the sidelines of the discussion, Tan told Connected to India that STB's campaigns had been fruitful in boosting travel bookings to Singapore for the near future.
"Early signs are very positive. I'm quite positive that there is a big demand for travel to Singapore," he added.
He also said that everyone must develop new paradigms to take precautions against the possibility of new variants and that it was too early to say definitively that a full recovery was around the corner, but Singapore was optimistic about the future.
"Based on what we've observed in the last few months, there is a tremendous demand or travel; business, family, corporate. Barring any further complications, we should see travel and tourism pick up very quickly," he added.
"From Singapore's perspective, we are always open to mutually beneficial airline partners," he told Connected to India.
Singapore started welcoming all vaccinated travellers with no quarantine/testing requirements from April 2022. The easing of travel restrictions comes at a favourable time for Indian travellers with the start of the peak summer family travel season around the corner.
The discussion was part of Singapore’s larger narrative of SingapoReimagine recovery initiative to chart pathways for tourism recovery with collective efforts.
Key topics discussed included emerging post-pandemic trends, initiatives taken by the STB to encourage Indian travelers and Singapore’s focus on technology, ingenuities and sustainability to carve a niche in the future of tourism, among others.
India has been a top source market for visitor arrivals to Singapore and family travel has featured highly as an audience segment.
"Singapore has taken progressive steps towards reimagining a new standard of travel through renewed experiences and elevated standards in technology, sustainability and safety, resulting from the collective efforts of tourism partners," he said.
STB seeks to re-inspire and instill confidence among international travellers. Singapore continues to be a top destination of choice for Indian travellers, an official statement read.
India is the second most important source market for Singapore tourist arrivals after Indonesia. As of May 2022, 70% of India’s pre-COVID flight capacity to Singapore has been restored. Singapore is connected to 14 Indian cities offered by a combination of both full-service and low-cost carriers.
“For the current year, our key focus is to deepen and expand our partnership with our stakeholders to promote ‘destination Singapore’ effectively. India continues to be one of the top-performing Vaccinated Travel Framework (VTF) source markets for Singapore,” Tan said.
Peh Ke Wei, Vice President, Market Development, CAG, said that Changi Airport and its airline partners are an integral part of the Singapore experience.
"The COVID-19 safety protocols have also been relaxed significantly in the city. We are seeing strong demand for travel to Singapore from Indian cities,” he added.