STB survey finds growing confidence in overseas travel among top tourist sources

The survey found that respondents had a strong perception of Singapore as being a safe destination to visit amid the Covid-19 pandemic. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - Confidence in overseas travel is growing among Singapore's traditional top sources of visitors, with three in four leisure travellers and nine in 10 business travellers indicating they are likely to go abroad in the year ahead, a recent survey has found.

The online survey of 14 key markets, commissioned by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), also found that respondents had a strong perception of Singapore as being a safe destination to visit amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

This bodes well for the tourism sector's recovery, even though travel restrictions and quarantine requirements mean it will likely be some time before demand picks up, Mr Chang Chee Pey, assistant chief executive of STB's international group, told the media on Thursday (Nov 26).

Recent breakthroughs on the vaccine front provide some light at the end of the tunnel, although it could still take months or years for vaccines to be distributed globally, he noted.

As part of STB's preparations for the safe and gradual return of international travel, it is launching a platform to help shape the future of tourism.

Called SingapoReimagine, it will kick off with a series of forums here and around the world to share knowledge and exchange ideas on reshaping global travel.

There will also be engagements with stakeholders at home to spur the renewal of Singapore's tourism offerings.

"Covid-19 has devastated our industry, but it has also given us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reset, and reimagine what travel and tourism should be for the next generation," Mr Chang said during a launch event at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre.

STB assistant chief executive (marketing group) Lynette Pang said that travellers of the future are likely to travel less frequently, seek greater value and prioritise safety, hygiene and sustainability.

To that end, Singapore's tourism sector is reshaping itself with a focus on robust hygiene and safety standards, technology-driven experiences and integrating nature and urban landscapes, she said.

Examples include contactless touchpoints, hybrid physical and online events and the upcoming Mandai eco-tourism hub and Jurong Lake District tourism development.

Marina Bay Sands' newly launched hybrid studio, which hosted more than 100 viewers both in person and online at Thursday's event, is also used to beam broadcast-quality visuals and holograms worldwide, Mr Chang said.

"This is just one example of what we think the future will look like."

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