In 2007, close to 1.3 million European visitors travelled to
Singapore - a growth of 4.6% over 2006. The United Kingdom and Germany remain the key European source markets, making up
about 496,000 and 165,000 visitors respectively. Double-digit growth was also seen in visitors from Spain (25,000 visitors, 17.5%),
Russia (over 44,000, 17%), Denmark (over 31,000, 16.1%) and France (over 99,000,
Currently with offices in London and Frankfurt, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is set to officially open another full-fledged office in
Moscow, Russia by mid 2008. The STB aims to broaden the base for growth by increasing trade activities in France, Italy, Spain and
Switzerland while maintaining a strong presence in Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom.
Interest in Asia has been growing due to increasing awareness of the region’s myriad cultural and historical attractions arising from strong
media interest. Singapore is also benefiting from environmental factors such as its geographical location which makes it a natural hub for
travellers between Europe and Australia, and improved air access with new flights by Singapore Airlines which has introduced the new
A380 on the London-Singapore route and increased the number of weekly flights out of Europe by over 40%. Cities with increased
flights include Barcelona, Milan and Russia (seven weekly each), Paris (10 weekly) and Switzerland
2008 Marketing Strategy
Increasing Trade Activities:
2008 will see STB Europe planning to spend 50% more on marketing in countries such as France,
Spain, Italy and Switzerland. While the effects of these activities will be seen largely over the medium- to long-term, the STB still expects
2008 visitor arrivals from Europe to grow by at least 3%.
Operationally, this will translate into more sales calls throughout the region, greater participation in tourism road shows and increased
collaboration with tour operators and internet-based travel providers in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy,
Spain, and Germany.
STB will also be targeting to increase travel during off-peak periods. For instance in Russia, one of Singapore’s fastest emerging source
markets, STB Europe will be working to set in place the impetus for new travel behaviours to develop. Currently, Russians are more used to
travelling to Asia in the winter months to escape the biting cold, resulting in extremely busy travel periods in winter and quiet summer
months. Hence, STB’s Moscow office will not only be working in-market to encourage Russians to continue travelling out to warmer regions
such as Singapore at the end of the year, but also to venture out throughout the year to explore Singapore
and the region.
Reshaping Perception of Singapore
through Media Engagement:
With increased media interest in Asia, the STB will also be upping the number of media familiarisation groups so that key European media can experience Singapore first hand. This is critical as media and
public perceptions of Singapore are outdated, especially in view of Singapore’s recent tourism developments.
“Europeans are increasingly curious about Asia and Singapore is an ideal destination for them to experience the colour and vibrancy of
Asia while at the same time enjoying a lifestyle experience complete with great shopping, a vibrant night scene and a mouth-watering variety
of local and international cuisines,” said Mr Oliver Chong, Regional Director of Europe, Singapore Tourism Board. With Singapore having
undergone a transformation in recent years, he added that, “Many Europeans who have not visited Singapore in the past five years are
discovering that Singapore is now a much more vibrant destination with a lot more to experience. In fact,
just recently we invited a member of the English media on a media familiarisation trip to Singapore and he was surprised at how dynamic the Singapore scene had become
since he last visited, and as a 47 year old, he was even more surprised at how much he enjoyed Zoukout 2007 till five in the morning!.”
Strengthening Singapore’s Links With Partner
Singapore will be leveraging on its strategic location in Asia to enable
visitors from Europe to enjoy more of the region during their trips to Singapore. By partnering regional destinations such as Bali, Phuket
and Australia, visitors will get to enjoy Singapore as part of the Asian experience. This is boosted with Singapore’s good
air connectivity linking 180 cities in 57 countries via 80 airlines all over the world.
Even with the worldwide economy now taking on a cautious stance, the outlook on European outbound travel is no different from other
regions like Asia or the United States. With enough resilience in European markets and Asia remaining a region that provides European
travellers with good value for money, there is cause to remain optimistic that travellers will continue heading out to Asia and Singapore.
Visitor Arrivals for February 2008 other recent news regarding: