Providing ‘quality tourism’ to the Indian traveller
I was here before from 1999-2002. In 2002, Singapore received around 370,000 visitors, in 2011 we did about 870,000, the number in nine years grew almost by 2.5 times and that despite the depreciating value of the Indian rupee. When I left India, one Singapore dollar was equal to ` 24-25, now it’s almost equal to ` 45. Despite that, many Indians are still excited about going to Singapore and that shows in the numbers. We have not just been doing good marketing in India, but we are also spending a lot of time thinking about what are the new products that we can bring in. Over the last 5 years we have seen more than 10 billion dollars worth of new attractions opening – we have had two integrated resorts - the Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World. There has also been a lot of conscious effort by the government in encouraging the private sector to invest in new tourism products.
People come to a destination not just because of good marketing, but also because you are able to offer them something new and exciting. This constantly evolving investment into the tourism landscape is very
important to keep Singapore fresh and exciting for the Indian audience. As India matures as an outbound country, people are moving beyond just having a checklist of things to see or do.
Currently the five Indian metros that we have been active in are Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Kolkata. The other cities we are looking at are Chandigarh, Kochi, Coimbatore and Hyderabad. For us the very first assessment point is air connectivity, all the cities that we mentioned, expect Chandigarh, have direct flights to Singapore.