STB gets aggressive in its marketing to Indian tourists

Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has appointed Adrian Kong as area director, South Asia. Based out of Mumbai, he will oversee the board's tourism promotion, marketing and developmental efforts in South and West India and Sri Lanka. Prior to his appointment as an area director, he was overseeing STB’s Philippines office for over two years.

STB confirmed the appointment to Marketing. The board currently has two offices in India, situated in Mumbai and Delhi, with two marketing representatives based out of Chennai and Bangalore.

The appointment comes ahead of a report released by STB which highlighted that India is Singapore's 4th largest source market for visitor arrivals. Therefore, as a part of the its marketing strategy, the board has expanded its efforts in Tier two cities in India, such as Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Kochi, and more. This was in addition to its existing efforts in Tier One cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore.

The report also stated that the family segment is an important one for India visitors to Singapore. Therefore, in partnership with Mastercard, Singapore Tourism Board (STB), last year, ran a new campaign recently to entice Indian visitors traveling to Singapore. The initiative was launched through a new digital campaign #FulfilAPromise featuring Indian actors’ father-daughter duo Anil Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor.

Moreover, STB also collaborated with Red Chillies Entertainment, Dharma Productions and Hope Productions as part of the launch of the Alia Bhatt and Shah Rukh Khan starrer ‘Dear Zindagi’. The opening scenes shot in Singapore, introducing Alia Bhatt’s character as a cinematographer in the movie. The Singapore Tourism Board, Changi Airport Group and Singapore Airlines supported the location shoots at One Fullerton Promenade, Changi Airport and onboard a Singapore Airlines aircraft.

Singapore is not the only country which considers India to be a booming market. Recently Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) also partnered up with renowned “King of Bollywood”, actor Shah Rukh Khan for a short film titled #BeMyGuest to lure Indian tourists.

STB also said that in 2016, both visitor arrivals and tourism receipts exceeded forecasts to hit "historical highs". Visitor arrivals grew by 7.7% to 16.4 million and tourism receipts rose even higher by 13.9%to SG$24.8 billion. The strong tourism receipt results came on the back of visitors spending more on food and beverage, shopping and accommodation.

“We are heartened by the strong tourism sector performance in 2016. Despite challenges such as weaker economic performance in some of Singapore’s top source markets, and a Zika virus outbreak, Singapore has managed to attract more quality visitors to contribute to economic growth,”  Lionel Yeo, chief executive of STB said.

For 2016, the top growth markets visitor arrivals in terms of absolute growth were China (36%), Germany (15%), Vietnam (12%), Indonesia (6%), and India (8%). The growth was due to more visitor arrivals from Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities in China, India and Indonesia, where STB had intensified its marketing efforts.

The largest declines in visitor arrivals, however, were posted by Hong Kong (-12%), Malaysia (-2%), Australia (-2%), South Korea (-2%) and Japan (-1%). The decline for Hong Kong was largely attributed to its weaker economic performance, while Malaysia’s depreciating ringgit dampened travel to Singapore.