Sin­ga­pore bets big on films

The Sin­ga­pore Tourism Board has cho­sen to reach its tar­get au­di­ence via the tra­di­tional route of films, bank­ing not just on Bol­ly­wood but also re­gional films to work their magic on In­dian trav­ellers.

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It did won­ders for Switzer­land and Spain and now Sin­ga­pore Tourism Board (STB) is hop­ing that the film in­dus­try will help pop­u­larise the des­ti­na­tion even more. The NTO re­cently as­so­ci­ated with the Bol­ly­wood pro­duc­tion ti­tled ‘Dear Zindagi’ even though most of screen space in the film has Goa as its back­drop. But that didn’t dis­cour­age STB.

G.B. Srithar, Re­gional Di­rec­tor, South Asia, Middle East and Africa (SAMEA), Sin­ga­pore Tourism Board, who re­turned to the India mar­ket af­ter be­ing away for three years, says, “Bol­ly­wood is big on Sin­ga­pore and we are happy about that. We have re­alised that over the last five decades since Shammi Kapoor’s time, Sin­ga­pore has al­ways been fea­tured very pos­i­tively in In­dian movies.”

STB is not leav­ing out re­gional films ei­ther. Srithar adds, “Whether it is Kol­ly­wood or Tol­ly­wood, there are many movies be­ing shot in Sin­ga­pore. Our key ob­jec­tive in work­ing with pro­duc­tion houses is to ob­serve how they are por­tray­ing Sin­ga­pore.” The next movie with which STB is as­so­ci­a­tion it­self is Dharma Pro­duc­tions’

that will be re­leased in March 2017. “Through the movies, we want to show­case some of the newer at­trac­tions in Sin­ga­pore and show the city’s lo­cal sights and sounds since more and more trav­ellers want to ex­plore the city as a lo­cal,” Srithar adds.

How­ever, he says that there are no sin­gle-win­dow clear­ances for film­ing in pub­lic spa­ces in Sin­ga­pore. “Lo­ca­tions ei­ther fall un­der var­i­ous gov­ern­ment au­thor­i­ties or are pri­vately owned. We can help pro­duc­tion houses to con­nect with lo­cal fix­ers who can fa­cil­i­tate and co­or­di­nate with the rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties in Sin­ga­pore to se­cure lo­ca­tion per­mis­sions,” Srithar adds. Cross­ing one-mil­lion mark

In 2015, STB crossed the one-mil­lion mark and wel­comed a record num­ber of 1.014 mil­lion vis­i­tors. It also saw con­tri­bu­tion from In­dian trav­ellers to the tune of 1.167 bil­lion Sin­ga­pore dol­lars. In 2016, the num­ber of ar­rivals to Sin­ga­pore from India was 5,91,844 from Jan­uary to Au­gust with a 10 per cent yearon-year growth.

Srithar re­veals, “Af­ter China and In­done­sia, India is the third-largest tourism re­ceipts gen­er­at­ing mar­ket for Sin­ga­pore. There­fore, our in­vest­ments in the coun­try are very im­por­tant. We are hop­ing to wel­come more vis­i­tors to Sin­ga­pore. We will do this by fo­cus­ing on a few things. One, pen­e­trate more Tier II ci­ties apart from the met­ros Mumbai, Delhi, Ben­galuru and Chen­nai. We are also look­ing at other ci­ties like Kolkata, Hy­der­abad, Pune, Ahmed­abad and Am­rit­sar. In terms of the tar­get seg­ments, fam­ily traf­fic is very im­por­tant for us and so are the work­ing mil­lenials as well as MICE groups. An­other seg­ment we will be pro­mot­ing is cruise since In­di­ans are now start­ing to en­joy cruise hol­i­days.” STB will con­duct a four city road­show in early 2017 tar­get­ing Mumbai, Delhi, Ben­galuru and Chen­nai. This will be fol­lowed by a six-city road­show in mid 2017.

G.B. Srithar Re­gional Di­rec­tor, South Asia, Middle East and Africa (SAMEA) Sin­ga­pore Tourism Board

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