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Key Wins for Singapore’s MICE Business

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 Singapore has so much going for it - overall efficiency, excellent transport system, the highest quality of hotels and MICE facilities, the latest technology and communications infrastructure, great shopping and leisure options, and a welcoming, well educated and multi-lingual populace - that it should come as no surprise that it has successfully clinched a good number of association meetings over the next few years. And, with some mammoth new projects preparing to open in the coming months and years, this MICE success is only going to get better.

 Commenting on the resilience of Singapore’s business events sector, Ms Melissa Ow, Assistant Chief Executive, Business Travel and MICE Group, Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said, “All vital signs are pointing towards the return of business confidence in the Singapore business events sector, fuelled by the dynamic developments taking place within the tourism landscape. Leveraging on our sterling track record and sound business fundamentals, Singapore has secured a robust pipeline of business events, including key international association meetings, in the coming years.”

Working closely with partners in the medical profession, the Singapore Exhibition and Convention Bureau (SECB), a group of the STB, put forth competitive bids and secured a number of major business events within the biomedical sciences and medical cluster. These include:

• The International Conference on Emergency Medicine (ICEM) in 2010
• The International Congress on Aviation and Space Medicine in 2010
• The third World Congress of the International Academy of Oral Oncology (IAOO) in 2011
• The 15th World Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH) in 2012
• The World Congress on Cardiac Pacing and Electrophysiology 2015

"Singapore's bid for the 2012 World Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH) showed a level of professionalism and dedication which impressed our selection committee. The team understood our needs, demonstrated a significant collaboration with the host organization and the chosen venue, and managed to gather the support of many local constituencies. The style and manner which the SECB and all the bidding partners approached this process gave us confidence about the level of service and attention that we could expect,” said Mr Laurence Verhagen, Head of Conference & Meetings of the International Union Against Cancer (UICC), which is responsible for the WCTOH bid process.

Other significant association conferences secured by Singapore and scheduled to take place in the next few years include:

• The International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) Conference 2012, which will debut with a distinguished delegate audience comprising top international lawyers, judges and arbitrators, providing an opportunity for Singapore to showcase its achievements in commercial arbitration.

• The 13th Conference of the Associated Research Centers for Urban Underground Space 2012 which provides a forum for experts to discuss opportunities and challenges in the use of underground spaces in cities.

• The 15th Asian Chemical Congress 2013 which will bring together established scientists for information exchange and education.

• The 16th Baptist Youth World Conference 2013 which will welcome 6,000 young adults to Singapore, representing the largest-ever international gathering of Baptist youths.

Singapore’s business travel and MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) sector is a key tourism driver for Singapore. In 2008, amidst a challenging global economic climate, Singapore’s business travel sector set a new record with 3 million business and MICE visitors and nearly $6 billion in tourism receipts.

Singapore officially emerged from the recession last week, with the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) announcing a gross domestic product (GDP) expansion for the second straight quarter in the three months to September. MTI has upgraded its 2010 economic forecast for Singapore to between 3% and 5% GDP growth. Going forward, the STB expects this positive trend  to continue.

“As we move into 2010, and a climate of economic recovery, the STB will continue to work closely with our industry partners to meet business event organisers’ evolving needs, explore new business leads and strengthen our international marketing and channel development efforts,” Ms Ow added.

STB’s senior management, including Chief Executive, Ms Aw Kah Peng, Ms Ow and the Regional Director of Europe, Mr Oliver Chong, took this message to seven cities in Europe, including London, Frankfurt and Geneva, Vienna and Paris through a multi-city MICE Roadshow over the past two weeks. Through meetings and networking sessions with over 400 business events trade partners and intermediaries, and key decision-makers from international associations, the roadshow was organised to raise awareness of Singapore as a premier destination for business events and a springboard to tap on the burgeoning economic growth of the Asia Pacific region.

Key intermediaries and industry associations that the STB senior management had met valued the opportunity to network with them, and industry peers and partners, and to receive updates on Singapore's business events sector. Some, like the International Air Transport Association (IATA), have set up their regional base in Singapore and look forward to staging more events in the city-state.

“IATA has been operating in Singapore since 1969. We held our Annual General Meeting in Singapore in 2004 and we are working with the Singapore Airshow, Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore to organise the Aviation Summit in February 2010. With our extensive experience doing business in Singapore, it is our opinion that the accommodation available is at very competitive prices, the meeting and conference facilities are extensive and of the highest standards, and the corporate entertainment and cuisine can cater to every taste,” said Ms Elena Ciuperceanu, Manager Passenger Services, UK & Ireland, IATA.

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