Frankfurt, May 22, 2012 – Singapore has once again maintained its position as Asia’s Top Convention City for 10 years running, according to the latest Global Rankings by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). In addition, Singapore has retained its spot as the only Asian city in the Top Five Convention Cities in the World alongside Vienna, Barcelona, Paris and Berlin, since 2006.
The accolade comes after a stellar year for Singapore tourism as the country welcomed a record high 13.2 million visitors, exceeding its forecast range of 12 – 13 million. The number of business visitors rose to 3.2 million, an increase of 2.6 per cent from 2010, and forming 24 per cent of total visitorship to Singapore. Expenditure by these business visitors also rose by 4.1 per cent to an estimated SGD 5.6 billion, contributing approximately 25 per cent of total tourism receipts.
There was also robust performance in the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) industry, which saw a 46 per cent year-on-year growth in the number of conventions, conferences and tradeshows in 2011. Key events also demonstrated strong growth with increased attendance and participation.
Ms Neeta Lachmandas, Assistant Chief Executive of the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), commented, “We are proud that we have maintained our appeal to global businesses as a premier hub in the Asia Pacific region. Our success can be attributed to several factors: a vibrant eco-system that nurtures business events of exceptional quality, the dynamic growth in Asia, and most importantly, the dedication of our MICE industry partners.”
“Looking ahead, Singapore aims to continue leveraging the growing opportunities in Asia and our strong knowledge network to further strengthen our position as a preferred MICE destination. Singapore strives to differentiate itself by co-creating and developing a strong network of business events within Singapore’s key priority industries. Through close collaboration with professional industry partners and sustained efforts to develop the capabilities of Singapore’s key industry clusters such as biomedical and healthcare; infocomm technologies; environment and energy; and banking and finance, STB serves to attract and develop flagship MICE events of international standing that reinforce Singapore’s attractiveness as a leading MICE city.”
Inaugural events that made Singapore their preferred launch-pad to tap onto Asia’s growth include Cruise Shipping Asia 2011, International Air Transport Association (IATA) Global Aviation Human Capital Summit, and ScreenSingapore. Other key conferences such as Music Matters and Digital Matters and Asia Smart Grid gathered business and opinion leaders in their respective industries.
The year also saw the securing of 17 new world congresses for Singapore’s line up of events from 2012 to 2016. These include the 52nd ACI World Congress in 2013, the World Federation of Engineering Organisations Congress 2013 and the 36th World Diamond Congress in 2013 and the International Congress of the World Confederation for Physical Therapy 2015.
At the same time, Singapore continued to welcome high-level assemblies and C-suite level events such as the IATA Annual General Meeting, Million Dollar Round Table Experience meeting, Bank of America Merrill Lynch Asian Stars Conference 2011, Deutsche Bank-DB Access Conference 2011, Currency Conference and the Russia Singapore Business Forum. This is testament to Singapore’s growing thought-leadership and unique strengths in key industries like transport and security, and banking and finance.
Original and quality content: staying relevant to the business traveller
In line with the strategic approach of developing and driving quality content to facilitate business growth, industry stakeholders are bringing together complementary programmes that cover a broad spectrum of issues within their respective industries. This not only develops capabilities within the industries, but also allows delegates to optimise their business trips, maximise opportunities across the different events, and expand their network, which are key priorities for today’s time-strapped business traveller.
For example, TravelRave 2012, Asia’s most comprehensive travel trade festival, brings together the top minds and opinion leaders of the Asian travel and tourism industry to network, exchange strategic insights and discuss new opportunities for collaboration and investment, across seven industry-defining events held over five days from 15 – 19 October.
The latest event to be added to the TravelRave umbrella is Hotel Technology 2012, which will be co-located with Asia Pacific’s Tourism Destination Investment Conference. Hotel Technology 2012 will feature a full day conference and discuss the latest trends in hotel technology, from mobile device support and in-room innovations, to increasing customer satisfaction through the smart use of technology.
In addition, this year’s TTG Travel Experts Conference @ITB Asia, the main event for inbound and outbound travel professionals in the region, returns as a full day event, after a successful half day run last year. The event promises to deliver practical tips and tangible learning points that travel professionals in the region can apply to their businesses to enhance competitiveness and elevate success.
Hotel Technology 2012 and the TTG Travel Experts Conference @ITB Asia join TravelRave’s anchor events Asia Travel Leaders Summit, ITB Asia, Web in Travel, Aviation Outlook Asia, Asia Pacific Tourism Destination Investment Conference, and Singapore Experience Awards.
Destination Singapore: Exciting new developments for business travellers
Complementing these efforts to enhance the experience of the business traveller, the next few years will see new developments such as Gardens by the Bay, Singapore Sports Hub, and The National Art Gallery, as well as new hotels such as W Singapore at Sentosa Cove, and ParkRoyal on Pickering.
Beyond new attractions and hotels, Singapore will continue to improve existing infrastructure to meet the evolving needs of the MICE industry, and ensure that established event facilities remain relevant and competitive. Singapore Expo has developed a new meetings facility, Max Atria, designed with sustainability in mind, and which includes spaces inspired by nature. It is also the first MICE venue in Singapore to receive the prestigious Green Mark Platinum Award by the Building and Construction Authority.
In addition, Suntec Singapore, Singapore’s pioneer MICE venue, will embark on a SGD180 million modernisation programme in mid-2012. The redesign of the Suntec International Convention and Exhibition Centre will integrate a high degree of advanced technology including an impressive two-storey interactive digital wall and a modernized facade.
These new developments build on the numerous changes to Singapore’s tourism landscape over recent years and ensure that Singapore continues to be vibrant and innovative, offering all visitors a quality tourism experience that is differentiated, diverse, and seamless.
¹This figure is based on the impact of business events that Singapore Tourism Board (STB) monitors. It does not include the contribution of other business events outside of STB’s purview.
Please click Annex for TravelRave 2012 Events.
About the Singapore Tourism Board:
The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is a leading economic development agency in tourism, one of Singapore’s key service sectors. Known for partnership, innovation and excellence, the Board champions tourism and builds it into a key economic driver for Singapore. STB aims to differentiate and market Singapore as a must-visit destination offering enriching experiences through the “YourSingapore” brand. For more information, please visit www.stb.gov.sg and www.yoursingapore.com.