ME tourist numbers to Singapore jump 50pc
Dubai, December 29, 2011
The annual number of travellers from the Middle East to Singapore is now close to 150,000, marking a 50 per cent jump during the last three years, according to Singapore Tourism Board (STB).
“Singapore continues to evolve and mature with each passing year, and Middle East-based travellers have been quick to be some of the first in the world to experience the ‘new Singapore’ over the last three years,” said outgoing STB area director for Middle East and Africa, Jason Ong, who will now take on a new Singapore-based role as assistant director, Arts with Singapore Tourism Board.
“Singapore is now established as a premier, must-visit destination for the region’s discerning holidaymakers and, increasingly, its students and businessmen."
Year-on-year, Middle East-based visitor arrival numbers are likely to continue to increase significantly, with holidaymakers and businessmen drawn by the burgeoning range of premier attractions, hotels, and tourist amenities, he added.
The attractions among them Singapore’s iconic integrated resorts – Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa – and world-class events, such as the annual F1 race, Asian Fashion Exchange, and ArtStage Singapore, Ong noted.
This year, STB launched two programmes in the Middle East – the Global Chef Exchange, where Middle East chefs undergo a short programme in Singapore on Singaporean cuisine as well as the “Transformational Learning Journey”, a unique programme leveraging Singapore’s work culture and ethics to deliver Executive Training programmes.
In 2012, STB will use these as a platform to realise Singapore’s creative and academic vision in the Middle East through developing partnerships with the region’s young and vibrant arts and culture scene as well as its globally-renowned executive education sector, Ong said.
ArtStage Singapore is the first international premier arts fair in Singapore’s 2012 calendar. Running from January 12 to 15 at the world-class luxury Marina Bay Sands, it is the jewel in the cultural crown for Asia’s arts industry.
“Singapore is now a firm destination favourite among Middle East travellers, and we intend to continue to build on that brand promise of excellence,” said Mohamed Hafez Marican, newly-appointed area director, Middle East and Africa.
“There is truly so much on offer for regional visitors – from arts and culture to sport, entertainment, and gaming, but also much for the Middle East’s growing businesses which can learn from Singapore’s many world-leading organizations and institutions of higher learning,” he concluded. – TradeArabia News Service