Singapore was recently ranked 1st by the Union of International Associations (UIA) among the Top International Meeting Country, hosting more UIA-qualified meetings as a country than the U.S. or Japan for the first time. according to the Singapore Tourism Board. Singapore also placed 1st as Top International Meeting City and was named Asia’s most popular business travel destination by Accor Asia-Pacific Business Traveler Research.
Business Travel Destinations thinks Singapore will continue to gain international appeal for meetings and events.
That’s because Singapore continues to grow as a major business destination, with upcoming international events like the Formula One Grand Prix, TravelRave and SALT Capital SkyBridge Conference. Several new hotel openings are on the horizon as well, such as Singapore W Sentosa and Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore.
For those interested in what’s happening in Singapore’s international meetings industry, here’s the latest news:
Meetings in Singapore
Singapore experienced 46 per cent growth in the number of conventions, conferences and trade shows it hosted in 2011. This includes 78 new events during that calendar year. With the recent openings and renovations of hotels and meeting venues, visitors can be assured of an enriching experience during their stay for business events and vacations. Recently named Asia’s most popular business travel destination by Accor Asia-Pacific Business Traveler Research in August 2012, the country’s ongoing commitment to innovation and strategic expansion provides travelers with a dynamic environment for each visit.
Fresh meeting facilities and hotel renovations in Singapore offer enhanced inventory, helping the region to remain vibrant and meet the evolving needs of increasingly discerning business and leisure travelers. Among the highlights happening in Singapore are hotel renovations that are the most extensive ever made at two major hotel brands – Singapore Marriott Hotel and Pan Pacific Singapore. Additionally, Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore’s new floating event pods have become the first and only customized space to be located directly on Marina Bay.
Suntec Singapore, Asia’s Convention City which has hosted more than 18,000 events during the last 16 years, embarked on a US$147 million modernization program in mid-2012. The redesign of the Suntec International Convention and Exhibition Centre will cater to the increasing demand for more flexible and convertible spaces and venues, where exhibitors are organising more concurrent activities and conferences alongside the main conventions and exhibitions as companies move towards integrating multiple business events that offer synergy with one another. The new facility will also integrate a high-degree of advanced technology and unveil an impressive two-story interactive digital wall, along with a modernized façade.
In addition, Singapore Expo has expanded with a new meetings facility, Max Atria, which opened in March 2012. The 136,702 square-foot complex can host events for up to 3,500 people across 32 column-free rooms, spacious foyers, a garden courtyard and rooftop. The venue is the first MICE venue in Singapore to receive the Building and Construction Authority’s (BCA) Green Mark Platinum status. Please visit www.maxatria.com.sg for more information.
Officially opened on October 22, 2012, the new Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore (MBCCS) is located in the heart of the city’s vibrant business district, making it an unconventional and unique venue for meetings, launch events and gala dinners. In addition, the 300,000 square-foot MBCCS will double Singapore’s berth capacity, enabling more cruise ships to call Singapore their homeport and call on both Singapore and Asia. With its deep waters, a large turning basin and lack of height restrictions, the world’s largest ships, such as the Oasis-class ships being built now, will be able to dock in Singapore and enjoy dedicated cruise terminal facilities. The Terminal also complements the existing Singapore Cruise Centre at the Southern Waterfront precinct. Please visit www.mbccs.com.sg for more information.
Adding to the stable of environmentally friendly venues and properties is upcoming new hotel development PARKROYAL on Pickering which is expected to open its doors on 16 January 2013. Designed by internationally acclaimed architectural firm WOHA, the property boasts a hotel-in-a-garden concept that focuses on integrating environmental principles and elements throughout the premises. It was lauded as an architectural stunner by Forbes.com in a ‘Hotels of the Future: 7 Architectural Stunners on the Horizon’ story that showcased seven upcoming hotels around the world representative of cutting-edge architectural trends earlier this year, and was also conferred the Green Mark Platinum Award earlier this year.
The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore introduced three floating event pods in September 2012, the only event spaces custom-built on Marina Bay to hold intimate events. Located on water in the harbor of the Fullerton Bay Hotel, the pods are reminiscent of trading boats docked in a modern day setting. The pods are well suited for exclusive events such as boardroom meetings and intimate celebrations. Each pod is equipped with its own 55-inch HDTV, built-in sound system, automatic blinds and an attached bathroom. A truly unique venue in an enchanting setting, the new pods are designed for meeting planners seeking the ultimate meeting and event space that’s in a class of its own.
Singapore Marriott Hotel unveiled a US$29 million refurbishment in May 2012, the most extensive project of its kind in the hotel’s 17-year history. Most notable are two new room categories, which have been introduced for business and leisure travelers: Premier Deluxe Rooms and Studio Rooms. A brand new F&B concept, Java+, completes the refurbishment, bringing the hotel’s restaurant count to five.
As of September 2012, business and leisure travelers can immerse themselves in the serenity of Pan Pacific Singapore, which experienced its biggest transformation in its 25-year history. The highlight of the renovation is the 360 degree view Pacific Club on Level 38, the topmost floor of the hotel. The latest technology and contemporary design have been combined with the ‘Pacific Touch’, a sensory expression of the unique culture, geography, design and heritage of the Pacific Rim that is connected by an unmistakable feeling of light and sense of calm.
Shangri-La Hotel unveiled Singapore’s iconic Garden Wing in June 2012, following an eight month renovation. The newly expanded property, redefines Singapore’s hotel landscape as the country’s only urban resort. Epitomizing the best of resort-style hospitality, guests can enjoy a relaxing overnight experience in the heart of cosmopolitan Singapore. The new Garden Wing features 158 nature-inspired guestrooms and suites, a new dining concept and Singapore’s first CHI, The Spa, all incorporating noteworthy environmental considerations.
The Singapore Tourism Board
The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is an economic development agency for one of Singapore’s key service sectors – tourism. The mission of the Board is to develop and champion tourism, so as to build the sector into a key driver of economic growth for Singapore. The STB aims to differentiate Singapore as a destination through the “YourSingapore” brand, delivering on Singapore’s promise to provide a concentration of multi-faceted and user-centric travel experiences as well as positioning the destination as one that is future-facing and inspiring; one where visitors are invited to make their virtual experience of Singapore a reality. For more information, please visit www.stb.com.sg or www.yoursingapore.com.