THE Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has confirmed that it will be supporting the National Travel Agents Association of Singapore (NATAS) at the upcoming Arabian Travel Market 2012, as the island nation presents its ‘new’ look to the show’s visitors.
In total, nine NATAS members have confirmed their participation at the annual Dubai event, among them: GTMC, Tour East, Asian Famous, Luxury, Traveller DMC, Star Holidays, Pacific Arena, Millennium Tours, and Gloree Tours. NATAS members are expected to highlight many of Singapore’s new attractions, among them the incredible developments in the arts and executive education sectors.
“The ‘new’ Singapore is about what makes our country an international travel destination favourite – so much to do, so easy to do it, and all totally personalised. Singapore is a destination brand that is increasingly as surprising and revitalizing as it is reliably accommodating and welcoming,” said Mohammed Hafez Marican, area director Middle East and Africa, STB.
Hafez added that he expects “at least a ten per cent spike” in the number of Gulf visitors to the country this summer, as large investments into entertainment infrastructure are now rapidly beginning to pay off and world-class luxury airline and hotel brands better promote themselves across the region.
Singapore has already received more than 14,000 visitors from the UAE for the first quarter of 2012, an 18 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2011. The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) forecasted 12 to 13 million visitor arrivals last year and between $17.5 and $19.1 billion in tourism receipts. That was an increase from record highs of 11.6 million visitor arrivals and $14.9 billion in 2010.
One of the world’s cosmopolitan melting pots in Asia, Singapore offers visitors from the Middle East quality family-friendly attractions, a refined shopping experience, a sleepless nightlife, and luxurious hotel accommodations amidst lavish flora and fauna. Many existing attractions have been renewed, while new attractions will be available to Gulf visitors who want to get away.
The recently launched Gardens by the Bay are housed in the heart of Singapore’s new downtown, near the Marina Bay Sands. The Gardens span an impressive 101 hectares, exhibiting garden artistry and allowing nature lovers to get up close and personal with an array of plant species from around the world. The lush garden setting is ideal for the enjoyment of local and international concerts and entertainment. The Gardens will be fully opened in June 2012.
Singapore’s River Safari, Asia’s first river-themed wildlife park, showcases the world’s rivers, highlighting the Mississippi, Congo, Nile, Ganges, Murray and Mekong Rivers. Visitors can discover the importance of conservation and see first-hand how Singapore is aiding the preservation of fragile freshwater habitats. The park is due to open in September.
Working in conjunction with STB are Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Hong-Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, which offer Gulf visitors exceptional travel and deluxe hotel accommodations. SIA travellers can lounge in the spaciously 60’ and 64’ pitched recliner seating in First Class while enjoying an extensive movie list and popular TV shows available on demand on each 10.4” screen with noise-cancelling headsets. Distinguished flyers can relish in a private haven aboard SIA’s A380 aircraft in the suites, featuring the airline’s largest-ever armchairs, hand-stitched by master Italian craftsmen Poltrona Frau.
Upon arriving in Singapore, vacationers can unwind in style at Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort, the only resort in Singapore with a beachfront location. After completing an S$80 million ($64 million) makeover, the resort boasts 454 rooms, seven dining and entertainment options, a children’s club and many other attractions.
Singapore’s travel agents will be exhibiting in Sheikh Saeed Arena, stand number AS2470.