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Singapore Outlines 2008 Marketing Strategy for Europe

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Thursday, 27 March 2008

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, 10%).

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 regions 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 (14 weekly).

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 Singapores 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, STBs 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 Singapores 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 Singapores Links With Partner Destinations: 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 Singapores good air connectivity linking 180 cities in 57 countries via 80 airlines all over the world.

Outlook

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.

See also: Singapore Visitor Arrivals for February 2008 other recent news regarding: Travel News Asia, Singapore, Visitor Arrivals, Marketing

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