Singapore Eyes Over A Million Visitors From India In 2019
Pedestrians walk in front of One Raffles Place, right, and commercial buildings illuminated at night in the central business district of Singapore (Photographer: Sam Kang Li/Bloomberg)  

Singapore Eyes Over A Million Visitors From India In 2019

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Singapore is looking at continuing the four-year trend of having over a million visitor arrivals from India in the current year as it undertakes a number of measures to hard sell the country as a preferred destination.

India is currently the third largest source market for visitor arrivals to Singapore, a senior tourism board official said.

"It has been a soft year for Indian arrivals to Singapore. But the Singapore Tourism Board is working with airlines, travel agents and trade partners to finish the year on more than one million visitor arrivals again in 2019," Singapore Tourism Board's India, Middle East & South Asia Regional Director GB Srithar told PTI.

In 2018, for the fourth year in a row, India contributed more than a million visitor arrivals to Singapore, he added.

"India is also the number one source market for cruise tourism for Singapore. 1.6 lakh cruise travellers from India visited Singapore in 2018," Srithar said.

Also read: IndiGo To Start Daily Flights From Mumbai To Singapore, Bangkok

When asked about the factors which make Singapore a preferred destination for visitors from India, he said both countries shared over five decades of very close socio-economic and political ties.

Singapore has a very high brand affinity with the Indian consumers, he added.

Short flying time is also a huge advantage. Good connectivity with more than 200 weekly flights from India to Singapore, hassle free convenient visa regime for Indian travellers also makes Singapore a very attractive destination, Srithar said.

On the product side, Singapore offers concentration of a variety of experiences which get rejuvenated every few years. It also provides different experiences to everybody, he added.

Currently, leisure is the biggest segment of arrivals, followed by business and Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions segment, he said.

As travel and tourism has now become entrenched as a key discretionary spend for Indian consumers, the Singapore Tourism Board is taking steps to leverage this factor, Srithar said.

India is a very young country and young people look for different types of holidays and STB is addressing that, he added.

"Our key focus, apart from metros, is how do we connect with the secondary cities. Our key focus will be on leveraging these cities as these cities will have lots of people travelling," Srithar said.

STB is also targeting different verticals such as cruise and MICE segments. Besides, it is also focusing on two new areas -- weddings and overseas school trips, he added.

The board is also working on soft connect such as for Bollywood movies, music videos projects and is also looking for innovative partnerships, Srithar said.

STB is a statutory board under the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Singapore.

It champions the development of Singapore's tourism sector, one of the country's key service sectors and economic pillars, and undertakes marketing and promotion of Singapore as a tourism destination.

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