Singapore weaves Silk Route to ME

To establish a strong relationship with the Middle East through tourism, Singapore Tourism Board (STB) concluded yet another roadshow in five prominent cities of the region. Singapore’s travel industry professionals met and discussed how to make the country a compelling leisure and MICE destination.

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) recently concluded a roadshow across five Middle East cities to promote Singapore as a leading tourism destination. Themed as ‘Extending Our Hands in Partnership’, the STB and Singapore tourism partners interacted with the top travel trade professionals in Dubai, Muscat, Kuwait City, Doha and Tehran. The delegation was led by G.B. Srithar, STB’s Regional Director for South Asia, Middle East and Africa (SAMEA) and Mohamed Firhan Abdul Salam, STB’s Area Director for Middle East and Africa. The roadshow gave an update on the latest leisure and MICE offerings in Singapore and networking opportunities. This year’s roadshow saw a positive response from 17 Singapore suppliers, ranging from Destination Management Companies (DMCs) to hoteliers and attraction partners who are keen on growing business in the Middle East markets. STB kept the events intimate, with about 60 to 80 decision-making trade partners per city, to make the business networking in the table-top format effective for both the Singapore suppliers and the in-market trade.

While addressing the travel trade during the roadshows, Srithar emphasised on meaningful collaborations with the travel fraternity in the Middle East to introduce new travel experiences and rejuvenate the existing packages for the visitors from the region. He says, “We are happy to bring our Singapore tourism stakeholders and ‘Extend Our Hands in Partnership’ to the travel trade in the Middle East. The five-city journey helped us connect with the travel trade here, and we are eager to bring Middle East travellers to Singapore. STB remains committed to growing the arrivals from Middle East and we look forward to forging innovative partnerships that seek to differentiate Singapore as a compelling leisure and MICE destination.”

Abdul Salam adds, “STB’s office in the Middle East has been focused in the past few years to grow tourism receipts and arrivals from the region. Working with the travel trade of the Middle East remains a core strategy for STB. We will continue striking effective co-marketing partnerships, organising roadshows and familiarisation trips and embarking on new trade initiatives in the coming year.” The visitor arrivals from the Middle East has seen steady increase over the years, with UAE arrivals reaching a high of 80,212 in 2016, representing a two per cent growth, amidst a challenging outbound climate last year. Iran had registered a strong double-digit growth in visitor numbers to Singapore in 2016, making it one of the largest source markets from this region.

Yvonne Low, Group Executive Director of The Traveller DMC, the first-time visitor to Oman, who participated in STB’s roadshow and travels to Dubai yearly, says, “The roadshows were tremendously successful and beneficial. Personally, I am deeply impressed with the travel trade from across the cities. They were welcoming and friendly to the Singapore delegation and expressed strong interest in working with us.” STB partnered with Singapore Airlines, Emirates Airlines and Qatar Airways for various legs of this edition of the roadshow to emphasise the connectivity with the region.

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