At yesterday's Tourism Industry Conference 2018, organised by Singapore Tourism Board (STB), chief executive of the board Lionel Yeo emphasised the importance of events to drive visitation.
To continue positioning Singapore as a compelling destination, Yeo said that STB needs to rely on events and lifestyle offerings, even as it continues to invest in new hardware and infrastructure.
“STB has been aggressively curating a vibrant events calendar,” he said. “We have supported over 900 events in the last five years.”
A case in point is the Anime Festival Asia which has grown to become the signature Southeast Asia event for Japanese pop culture. This year, the festival will mark its 10th edition in Singapore.
Another example is the upcoming Singapore Cocktail Festival, which will be held in conjunction with the Asia’s 50 Best Bars awards ceremony.
“Our view is that everyone, whether you are an attraction, a hotel, a mall, or a precinct, should have an events strategy,” Yeo said.
“Events augment your value proposition to drive visitation to your property or precinct. And events have the advantage of being easily refreshed to respond to consumer trends.”
Another example he cited was Universal Studios Singapore and its annual Halloween Horror Nights, which has grown to become a highly anticipated event.
To promote tech innovation in the tourism and events industry, STB’s Innovation Challenge was launched last year to help industry stakeholders crowd-source new solutions and help projects begin test bedding. The challenge will be extended to the MICE industry soon.
In 2017, Singapore welcomed an all-time high of 17.4 million international visitors, generating US$20.4 billion in tourism receipts.