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Singapore targets over 15 million tourists this year

Special Correspondent
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New offerings announced to cash in on increasing arrival from India

(From left) Kenneth Er, chief operating officer, Garden by the Bay; Chang Chee Pey, STB executive director, South Asia, Middle East and Africa; and G.B. Srithar, STD area director for South Asia, at a press conference in Chennai on Monday.Photo: R. Ragu
(From left) Kenneth Er, chief operating officer, Garden by the Bay; Chang Chee Pey, STB executive director, South Asia, Middle East and Africa; and G.B. Srithar, STD area director for South Asia, at a press conference in Chennai on Monday.Photo: R. Ragu

To cash in on the increasing tourist arrival from India, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) on Monday announced its latest offering of ‘Gardens by the Bay’ and River Safari in the island nation.

Comprising different waterfront gardens, ‘Gardens by the Bay’ showcases horticulture and garden artistry with a mass of display of tropical flowers, coloured foliage, while River Safari is a river-themed zoo, officials said.

The ‘Gardens by the Bay’ was opened some nine months ago, while the soft launch of River Safari was done last week. Plans are on to construct Terminal 4 at Changi International airport that would become operational by 2020, said G.B. Srithar, STB Area Director, South Asia.

Briefing reporters here on Monday, STB Executive Director, South Asia, Middle East and Africa, Planning Projects, Chang Chee Pey said India was ranked fifth in terms of tourist arrival and third in terms of tourism receipts generating market.

In the last seven years (2004-2011), the number of Indian tourists’ arrival into Singapore has increased from 4.7 lakh to 8.7 lakh and it was expected to touch one million soon. Every week, 430 flights were operated by eight carriers on the Indian-Singapore sector with a seating capacity of 40,000.

“About 76 per cent of international visitors came from Asia. The top five nations are Indonesia, China, Malaysia, Australia and India. We are using tourism sector as key driver of economic growth. Our plan is to attract 17 million tourists and generate tourist receipt of 30 billion Singapore dollars by 2015 and we are on the way,” said Mr. Srithar.

During 2012, Singapore greeted 14.4 million tourists from different parts of the world against 13.2 million in the corresponding period last year. This year, STB hopes to attract 14.8 million to 15.5 million tourists with total receipts of Singapore dollars of 23.5 billion to 24.5 billion.


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