“The impact of depreciating rupee against the Singapore dollar is not much and Singapore continues to attract visitors from India,” said G.B. Srithar, Area Director, South Asia, Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

Talking to The Hindu, he said: “In the last few weeks, we have not heard about any big cancellations from the corporate regarding conferences or group meetings or from travel agents. Some Indian visitors might have either shortened their tours or stayed in less expensive hotels. Singapore hotels still continue to have healthy bookings. Singapore and Malaysia are not negatively impacted. The revival of Indian economy in the last few days is a healthy sign.”

According to him, India was the fifth largest country in terms of arrivals for 2011 and third largest in tourism receipts. For the first three quarters of 2012, one-third of 6.07 lakh Indians tourists were businessmen.

Indians spent nearly 33 per cent on accommodation and their average stay was about three to four days.

Disclosing that the tourists’ arrival for January-February 2013 had grown by 10 per cent, he said, “India is regarded as the number one source market for Singapore and it will continue to be so in the coming years. Each year, about 75 per cent of Indians are on leisure trips and 25 per cent on business. The business community accounted for 40 per cent of tourism receipts.”

Special rewards

Keeping this in mind, the STB announced the launch of ‘In SingaporeIncentives & Rewards (INSPIRE)’, a rewards programme catering to the Indian Meetings, Incentives,Conventions, and Exhibitions (MICE) outbound segment, particularly incentive travel groups and cruise tourism.

Chang Chee Pey, Executive Director, South Asia, Middle East and Africa, STB, said in the last five years Singapore had created lot of tourist attractions by investing over $10 billion.

Some of them such as boat ride on River Safari and the new indoor stadium would be up and running soon.

Changi Airport was developing its fourth terminal.

“India is one of our top five source markets for cruise. We conducted focus group study in 2012 to understand Indian consumers’ travel motivations, behaviour, their awareness and receptivity to cruising. A private firm is planning to start cruise tourism from South East Asia connecting India. The announcement will happen soon,” he said.