Singapore Tourism Board event in Jakarta attracts hundreds of millennials

JAKARTA - The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is out to interest millennials in Indonesia in visiting Singapore.

Sneakers, streetwear, music and dance shows were on offer on Friday (Nov 9) at the start of a three-day event in Jakarta organised by STB. The event also featured trailers of YouTube short films about trips to Singapore by young Indonesian visitors with different passions.

At least 300 visitors, mostly alerted to the event by invites on social media, started queuing outside a function room at a Jakarta shopping mall, two to three hours before it opened its doors on Friday.

"I arrived outside 8.30am and we were allowed in at about 11.30am. I am here first of all because of the sneaker event. The Singapore tourism part is a bonus worth checking out as well," college student, Mr Belva Fulvian, told The Straits Times.

The weekend event is part of STB's campaign to introduce the Passion Made Possible brand that was launched last year.

Passion Made Possible is the brand used by STB to market Singapore internationally for tourism purposes. The brand targets tourists based on their lifestyle and travel interests, categorising them into "tribes" such as foodies and explorers.

STB's three episodes of short films about Indonesian visitors to Singapore, which will be released from Nov 28, will offer touching stories, noted Mr Raymond Lim, area director of STB Indonesia.

"Our brand is about story-telling, about telling people the passions that they have, they can fulfil them in Singapore," said Mr Lim, adding that one of the films is about a young woman who must choose between her boyfriend and pursuing her passions. She then takes a trip to Singapore, where she gets in touch with her true self and learns about following her dreams.

Every year, about three million Indonesians visit Singapore, the second largest foreign visitor group after those from China. The third largest group is from India.

Mr Lim said the majority of foreign visitors to Singapore are families with children.

"But we are also seeing that the people coming to Singapore are getting younger. We need to start talking to younger people," he said, referring to those who have just started to work.

On whether the weakening rupiah against the Singapore dollar has had any impact on Indonesian tourist arrivals, Mr Lim said arrival numbers for January to September this year are growing by about 3.6 per cent compared with the same period last year.

"That itself shows resilience. There would definitely be impact but we are happy we are still seeing growth," he added.