The first Singapore Tourism roadshow was enjoyed by the travel trade fraternity in the GCC with key stakeholders from Singapore meeting with them on a one-on-one basis ensuring they had enough time to get the relevant knowledge required. Some of the exhibitors and buyers shared their comments with TRAVTALK.
Louis Fernandes, Director, Holidays – Bin Ham Travel
It was a remarkable and magnificently organised event. The follows-ups, emails and WhatsApp reminders did contribute, ensuring participation. Unfortunately, the COVID restrictions and directives of governments has nega-tively impacted tourism until the next quarter. Although the eagerness of the UAE citizens is encouraging, the re-strictions are a dampener. We hope that regular flights will resume and tourism bounces back in Singapore and the neighbouring countries soon. Coordination at the event was excellent.
Muhammad Idrees, Manager – Saudi Wings Holidays Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Technology is really a blessing that even in this difficult & depressing COVID time, it becomes productive and posi-tive. The roadshow was a big success. It was very informative and very fruitful. I connected with many suppliers and established relations and got thorough knowledge of the destination Singapore. Market sentiments are very positive towards business and leisure travel, people are really eager to travel as soon as its open, hopefully the industry will recover soon. Coordination at the event was exemplary, especially follow-ups and reminders.
Zaki Ahmed, Officer VIP Luxury Concierge – Almosafer
It was a pleasure to attend the STB Virtual Roadshow; all the exhibitors were very enthusiastic. It’s really very im-portant for us to have a new experience for our guests while sending them to Singapore and keep in mind that out associates (DMCs, Hoteliers, Airlines) will be providing everlasting experiences for VIP guests so that they will visit again and again without any complaints. It’s our responsibility to select the destination carefully for our guests. Al-so, we update our clients on a regular basis, informing them via visits, emails & messages that we are there for them in the market for any kind of travel services.
Fawad Khan, Sales Manager Gulf & Middle East – Singapore Airlines
It was a good opportunity to virtually interact with travel trade partners. We shared the latest updates about Sin-gapore Airlines’ safety measures at each touch point, current flight operations to selected networks and waiver guidelines. We have focused on ensuring the highest level of health precautions as this is a top priority for us and restoring customer confidence to travel with Singapore Airlines. Business travel segment is mostly relying on digital platforms hence there is not much demand. At the same time there is a segment of leisure travellers who would like to get onboard, however options are limited. We expect that travel will revive once countries open their bor-ders and travel restrictions are eased.
Alvin Yeoh, Assistant General Manager, Sea Wheel Travel
Considering it was the first time for a virtual event, it was fine. We showcased our capabilities and how we can help outbound agents in the Middle East to sell better and more by delivering hassle-free services for ground handling in Singapore. We also updated them on the situation in Singa-pore with regards to safety protocols and the cases here. I think the Middle East market is ready and people want to travel; the only hurdle is border restrictions. They are confident of Singapore’s handling of the pandemic.
Lawrence Lau, Director
Victoria Travel Our regular tour packages for luxury and affordable itineraries were showcased at the roadshow. As there will be changes happening before the market reopens, we are exploring with prospective partners in the Middle East on using Singapore as a stop-over to China and making Singapore as a ‘value for money’ destination so as to appeal to more Middle East people to consider coming to this part of the world for their next travel destina-tion. General sentiment is that businesses are down and when should we be expecting the market to recover. As this is the first time, all of us are taking part in this virtual roadshow.
Siti Nurhuda, Senior Manager, International Sales – Wildlife Reserves Singapore
The Middle East has been a growing market with great potential for Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS). The virtu-al roadshow organised by STB allowed us to reach out to the in-market travel partners with all the latest updates and offerings. We also took this opportunity to share some of the exciting new developments that are in the pipe-line. We are happy to share that our attractions provide halal dining options for our Muslim guests. We offer an exclusive culinary experience in the Wild, personalised guided tours for guests who require the added privacy & convenience and an up-close encounter with our animal friends.
Kathryn Loh, General Manager, SingExpress Travel DMC
We gave a brief introduction of our company and shared about our services according to their business segments, for example, leisure holidays, family travel or incentives. Presently there is only domestic travel and we don’t foresee any recovery till the end of 2020 or beginning of 2021 considering the pending gov-ernment directive on the opening of international gateways.
Regina Koh, Sales and Marketing Manager – Fareast Hospitality Management
I would like to thank Singapore Tourism Board for arranging this event despite the situation right now. It’s was eye-opening event and a very great exposure for us to reach out to the Middle East market. I do hope that this event will bring greater heights for everyone else.
Yvonne Low, Executive Director, The Traveller DMC
We showcased the credibility of our DMC, the new norms and the new tours in Singapore. The Middle East market is very buoyant and ready to bounce back for business, especially to the Far East, namely Sin-gapore. Clients, especially those from Saudi hope for visa relaxation and more direct flights. Governments can keep the borders closed, but the travel trade’s connections transcend borders. The coordination at the event was really good.
Inputs by Shehara Rizly