Against the backdrop of the current global economic crisis and with the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) predicting that global travel in 2009 will remain flat or decline by 2 percent, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) recently announced a S$90 million (US$59.7 million) initiative titled BOOST (Building On Opportunities to Strengthen Tourism) to fortify Singapore’s tourism sector during the current economic climate.
STB forecasted that this year, Singapore will welcome between nine to nine and a half million visitor arrivals and generate tourism receipts of between S$12 billion to S$12.5 billion (US$7.95 billion to US$8.30 billion).
Jason Ong, Area Director, Middle East and Africa, Singapore Tourism Board said: “Singapore’s advantage is that we are entering this difficult period from a position of strength. In the Country Brand Index 2008 by FutureBrand and Weber Shandwick, Singapore was ranked globally as the third-best destination for shopping and fourth in fine dining.”
“We have also consolidated our position as a premier business city with Singapore being ranked for the first time ever, ‘Top International Meeting City’ in the Union of International Associations 2007 Global Rankings,” he added.
The BOOST campaign is a multi-faceted program aimed to augment tourism demand for Singapore, increased funding support for business events and improve the mid to long term prospects for Singapore’s tourism sector.
To help boost visitorship in 2009, a global marketing campaign “2009 Reasons to enjoy Singapore” will be launched to offer visitors attractive travel packages and promotions that convey Singapore’s quality and exciting experiences at value-for-money prices.
STB will also leverage on online media and marketing channels to create captivating campaigns. The first is “Fly on US,” a promotion hosted on both the visitsingapore.com website and Facebook. Every 2009th name submitted to these sites will win a free pair of air tickets to Singapore, with S$500,000 worth of air tickets to be won over three months.
“With these new marketing campaigns complimented by exciting developments such as the upcoming integrated resorts, we are confident that the Middle East visitor will continue to be attracted to Singapore,” Ong concluded.