A city of business pleasures

Melissa Ow, deputy chief executive, Singapore Tourism Board.
Melissa Ow, deputy chief executive, Singapore Tourism Board.

Singapore's BTMICE industry grew by four percent to S$3.15 billion from Q1 to Q3 last year compared to the same period in 2016, according to statistics on tourism receipts excluding sightseeing, entertaining & gaming (TRexSEG). This increase in tourism spend by delegates was attributed to accommodation, shopping and other components.  

Despite a dip of five percent in BTMICE visitor arrivals to 1.75 million last year, robust spending by delegates helped to offset this decline. Singapore also maintained its edge with notable business events such as the Singapore FinTech Festival, which attracted 8,000 delegates; and VitaFoods Asia, which attracted 1,700 delegates.  

Elaborating on the consumption behaviour of delegates, STB's Deputy Chief Executive Melissa Ow says: "While our current statistics on the break-down of expenditure by delegates are quite broad-based, we have identified accommodation and shopping as the key categories. Generally, for BTMICE visitors, F&B has always been quite strong, so I wouldn't be surprised if expenditure on F&B has held up as well. The same applies for sightseeing and entertainment. Given that entertainment includes our nightlife attractions, which offer such compelling reasons for business delegates to continue their networking sessions beyond the conference centre, I'm sure these categories will reflect strong tourism spend by BTMICE visitors." 

Providing a boost to BTMICE event management in Singapore is the Singapore MICE Advantage Programme (SMAP), which has been well received by organisers since its launch. Ow shared that over 70 events have been beneficiaries of SMAP, with good take-up rates across the BTMICE segments, be it association conference, trade show or corporate meeting. 

"SMAP offers support on the experiential aspects of events management, while the Business Events in Singapore (BEiS) programme augments this with financial support that makes it more palatable for organisers to come into the market," says Ow.

The following years will welcome a strong pipeline of world-class events, including significant events secured in 2017, with Rotary International Convention taking the spotlight in 2024 with 24,000 delegates. 2018 will welcome 15,000 delegates from Herbalife SEA Extravaganza 2018; 4,000 delegates from Amway India Annual Leadership Summit; 4,800 delegates from Industrial Transformation Asia Pacific - A Hannover Messe Event; 2,175 delegates from Money 20/20 Asia and 1,400 delegates from International Luxury Travel Market Asia Pacific.

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