Singapore wants to go big on experience and small in footprint

Sustainability takes central theme as Singapore Tourism Board ramps up enhanced support programmes for international MICE groups.

Singapore Tourism Board pushes ahead with 2050 net-zero target, updates STB's deputy chief executive Yap Chin Siang.
Singapore Tourism Board pushes ahead with 2050 net-zero target, updates STB's deputy chief executive Yap Chin Siang. Photo Credit: Singapore Tourism Board

Singapore aims to go big on experience but small on carbon impact for MICE groups and business events as the industry’s recovery picks up pace.

Becoming a sustainable urban destination has become a topmost goal for Singapore amid its push towards the 2050 net-zero target, with sustainability now taking a front-row seat in Singapore Tourism Board’s (STB) renewed focus to attract international MICE groups and business events in the post-pandemic environment.

“We have an ambition to be a sustainable urban destination, a city in nature, where large experiences come with small footprints this year,” said STB’s deputy chief executive Yap Chin Siang, speaking during IMEX 2022 in Frankfurt.

Besides joining as a member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) member last year, STB has set targets to become a GSTC-certified sustainable destination and participate in the Global Destination Sustainability Index to “benchmark our social and environmental performances to other MICE destinations”, Yap added.

For international MICE groups, STB has also developed enhanced assistance and incentive schemes with its industry partners to ride on the positive momentum of events comeback.

“We are here [at IMEX] to really tell the world one key message that Singapore is back in business in a safe and sustainable manner, and we have got incentives and support schemes to make events attractively possible,” said Edward Koh, STB’s executive director, conventions, meetings and incentive director.

A wider and more diverse array of curated experiences, from dining and attractions to thematic tours and team building, awaits qualified MICE groups under STB’s In Singapore incentives & Rewards (INSPIRE Global 2.0) programme.

Under the enhanced programme, there are now close to 80 complementary experiences that delegates can enjoy in Singapore – an increase from 54 experiences that were introduced under INSPIRE Global 1.0.

New INSPIRE Global 2.0 partners include Sentosa’s latest perfumery attraction, Scentopia; 1- Group, a lifestyle group offering a range of dining experiences; and Urban Yogis, a yoga wellness centre providing wellness team building experiences. A new retail category has also been added to offer exclusive shopping sprees at Design Orchard, as well as back-of-house shopping tours with meet-and-greet sessions with designers.

Meanwhile, the Business Events in Singapore (BEIS) scheme remains in place to provide financial incentives for qualified events, while the Singapore MICE Advantage Programme (SMAP) 3.0 provides exclusive privileges with a stronger sustainable bent to delegates through key tourism partners including Singapore Airlines, Changi Airport Group, JetQuay, Sentosa Development Corporation, StarHub, Grab and NETS.

At IMEX 2022, STB and American Express Global Business Travel jointly released a new white paper – Ready, get set, go green! – to look at key trends in green meetings and events to assist travel and meeting professionals to plan sustainable business events.