Singapore eyes 17 mln visitors by 2015

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New Delhi, Feb 24 (UNI) Singapore is looking at receiving 17 million visitors by 2015, and as a part of this, the Singapore Tourism Board has kickstarted a new trade show 'Uniquely Singapore' in four cities in the country.

''We received 10.3 million visitors, which increased 5.6 per cent over last year, and 13.8 billion Singapore dollars revenue from tourism,'' said STB Regional Director (South Asia, West Asia and Africa) Siew-Kheng Kang.

Last year, 7,49,000 Indians visited Singapore, making India the fourth largest source market for the island nation. ''The 10 millionth visitor was an Indian,'' she added.

STB's 'Uniquely Singapore' campaign is expected to increase the number of tourists visiting Singapore from about 10.3 million to 17 billion annually.

''Our target are cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Pune, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad. We will also look at Chandigarh, Mohali, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Lucknow, Kanpur etc,'' said Ms Kang.

The highlights of the road show include Singapore Flyer, Formula One (world's first night street race), Marina Bay and Resorts World Sentosa (2010).

''The F1 race, to be held on 28 September 2008, is expected to attract 80,000 spectators,'' she said.

''Set against the spectacular Singapore Skyline, spectators will get a close-up view of the garden city as the circuit passes historic landmarks such as the City Hall and other modern buildings along the Marine Bay,'' Singapore Grand Prix Deputy Chairman Colin Syn said.

The Singapore Flyer is a also a new waterfront attraction that will open to the public on March 1 this year. It claims to become the world's largest observation wheel holding 28 capsules which accommodates 28 visitors in each capsule.

''Every ride will last for about 30 minutes in an air-conditioned and UV light-protected capsule. These are 28 such capsules that can be converted into a unique venue in the sky to host events such as weddings, product launches and business entertaining,'' Ms Kang said.

The Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort, slated to start 2009, will combine convention and exhibition facilities, and world-class dining, shopping and entertainment outlets under one roof that will add buzz and excitement.

Resorts World at Sentosa, will be launched in 2010.

''India is a growing and is an important market for us. Through the four-city road show, we aim to impress on our key stakeholders in the country about the new tourism landscape of Singapore,'' Ms Kang said.

STB also plans to promote the country as a weekend destination.

''The scheme was launched on a trial basis in Chennai in September 2007. We chose Chennai as there is a certain degree of familiarity to the city where Singaporeans are concerned and vice versa. The trial was a success and tourist traffic increased 17 per cent during the weekends. There were 49 services flying weekly from this sector since the programme was launched,'' Ms Kang added.

The weekend Singapore tour programme has now been extended to eight metros--Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, besides Chennai.


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