STB launches campaign in Chennai to woo Indian tourists to Singapore

Between January and February this year, 27,000 out of the 330,000 foreign visitors to Singapore were from India. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

NEW DELHI - The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has launched a campaign as part of efforts to woo tourists from India to return to the Republic.

The SingapoReimagine Reopening campaign was launched in Chennai, the capital of southern Tamil Nadu state, on Thursday (March 17).

STB said it is collaborating with St+art India Foundation on the campaign, which includes Singapore-based artist Tina Fung and her Indian counterpart Osheen Siva showcasing a large-scale installation titled Dreams From The Futures in Chennai Phoenix Marketcity shopping mall.

The installation, which will be on display for three weeks, includes traditional Tamilian and Singaporean elements such as Peranakan motifs, said a STB press release.

It also said that a culinary experience event will be held at Mr. Ong - The Flavours Of Singapore, a restaurant at the Park Hyatt hotel in the southern Indian city on Friday.

South India remains an important source market, making up for a substantial number of the 1.4 million Indian nationals who visited Singapore in 2019, said Mr G.B. Srithar, regional director for India, Middle East and South Asia at STB.

The number of visitors has plunged since 2020, although they seem to be picking up in the first two months of this year with the gradual resumption of flights between the two countries.

Between January and February this year, 27,000 out of the 330,000 foreign visitors to Singapore were from India, according to STB figures. Around 54,000 of them visited for the whole of last year.

Describing Singapore as a "a top of mind destination among Indian travellers", Mr Srithar was confident about a pickup in tourist numbers.

"Our travel agents in India and destination management companies in Singapore said Indian holidaymakers are coming to Singapore... that there is traction. We expect that to grow as school holidays start in a few weeks," he said.

"It is (now) easier for Indian travellers to come to Singapore and enjoy experiences. We are in a phase where there is a lot of momentum being picked up since Nov 29, when VTL started for Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai," he added, referring to the Vaccinated Travel Lane Scheme.

Singapore widened the VTL scheme for India beyond Chennai, Delhi, and Mumbai from March 4 to include all Indian cities.

The SingapoReimagine Reopening campaign, according to the STB, will be taken to different parts of India in the coming months.

The campaign, Mr Srithar said is "to signal to Indian audiences that Singapore is reopening" with all safety protocols in place.

"We felt it is time to connect with Indian audiences, which we have been doing in the past through various projects," he added.

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