Tuesday, 12th March: For the fourth time in a row, Singapore welcomed more than one million Indian travelers in 2018, reinforcing it as one of the most preferred destinations for Indian outbound travel. The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) announced that India retained its third position, after China and Indonesia, as a Visitors Arrival (VA) source market for Singapore, having first gaining that spot in 2017. It recorded the second highest growth at 13%, after USA (14%).
While key metro cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai continue to contribute the highest number of visitors to Singapore – 498,000 travelers in 2018, a year-on-year (YOY) increase of 8%, STB’s efforts to engage other key metros and secondary cities resulted in them providing good growth in visitorship. These cities, including Hyderabad, Kolkata Pune, Amritsar, Coimbatore and Visakhapatnam contributed 253,000 travelers in 2018, a YOY growth of 12%.
Singapore received 160,000 cruise holiday makers from India in 2018, a 27% YOY increase, making India remain as the top cruise travel source market for Singapore. Up till third quarter 2018, Singapore had welcomed two million BTMICE global visitors, a 14% YOY increase. From India, Singapore continued to draw a high number of meetings & incentive (M&I) travel groups in 2018, including from prominent corporates like Amway India and Voltas.
The year 2018 was an eventful year for STB in the Indian market. It promoted the destination brand “Passion Made Possible” vigorously and presented Singapore’s diverse offerings to audiences across India – families, early & established careers, cruise travellers, meetings and incentive groups and travellers from Tier 2 & 3 cities. It embarked on several creative consumer engagement initiatives like the first-ever English music video collaboration by an international tourism agency in India with Vh1, marketing partnerships with high consumer-touch brands Paytm and Ola and a music promotional association with Maestro Ilaiyaraaja targeting the South India market. The STB also undertook intensive travel trade outreach efforts across 21 cities to connect with travel intermediaries promoting Singapore holidays.
Speaking to media in Chennai and Bangalore, as part of STB’s first trade engagement programme in South India for 2019, GB Srithar, Regional Director SAMEA (South Asia, Middle East and Africa), STB said, “We are grateful to all our partners who promoted Singapore actively in 2018, making us welcome a record 1.44 million visitors from India. With Singapore’s diverse sightseeing and attraction offerings, array of exciting events and year-round festivals and celebrations catering to the different passion points of travelers, we look forward to welcoming more visitors from India to experience Singapore in 2019.”
Visitors will have many reasons to visit and revisit Singapore in 2019. The city will celebrate the much-anticipated opening of Jewel Changi Airport on April 17th. The 10-storey complex will be home to more than 280 shops and food and beverage (F&B) outlets. A five-storey garden with more than 2,000 trees and 100,000 shrubs, with two walking trails and a 40m-high Rain Vortex – the world’s tallest indoor waterfall will delight visitors. One of Singapore’s finest attractions, the Singapore Cable Car celebrates 45 years of providing scenic views with the debut of ‘Miraculous’, an original multi-sensorial video-mapping show on the Angsana tree at hilltop restaurant Arbora at Faber Peak Singapore. There will also be a line-up of exciting activities, events, F&B promotions at Singapore’s only hilltop destination.
Collaborating with Madame Tussauds Singapore, Tollywood superstar Mahesh Babu will be launching his first and only wax figure in the world on March 25th, 2019 in Hyderabad. This will be a special moment for Madame Tussauds Singapore as this will be the first time unveiling a prestigious figure outside of Singapore. Mahesh’s wax figure will join Madame Tussauds Singapore – the home of other A-list icons, the IIFA Award Experience and the new upcoming Ultimate Film Star Experience. All his fans will be able to get up close and grab their selfies with superstar Mahesh very soon.
On the BTMICE front, Singapore is set to host some key events like Kaspersky Security Analyst Summit 2019, KPMG Asia Pacific Tax Summit 2019, 18th Asia Pacific Life Insurance Congress 2021 and Asian Patent Attorneys Association General Assembly and Council Meetings 2022. Collectively, these events are expected to draw close to 10,500 foreign delegates to Singapore. The STB will continue reaching out to and enticing M&I travellers in India to Singapore, through its incentive schemes, INSPIRE and BeIS.