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Pioneering Strategies Make Singapore a Tourism Powerhouse: A Closer Look at STB’s Success

Singapore, despite its relatively small size, has achieved remarkable success in the global tourism landscape, positioning itself as a tourism powerhouse. At the heart of this triumph lies the innovative and pioneering strategies orchestrated by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

Unlike traditional NTOs that often focus solely on marketing and promotional activities, the STB has adopted a multifaceted strategy that encompasses not only marketing but also strategic initiatives to enhance the overall tourism experience.


One of the key aspects of STB’s strategy is a relentless focus on enhancing tourism infrastructure and attractions. Despite its size, Singapore boasts a diverse range of world-class attractions, including iconic landmarks, cultural precincts, and entertainment hubs. The STB has consistently invested in preserving its historic districts, rejuvenating scenic spots like the Singapore River, and creating new iconic attractions that cater to the interests and preferences of a broad spectrum of travellers.

Furthermore, STB’s collaborative approach, working closely with stakeholders, the private sector, and international partners, has been instrumental in fostering a holistic and sustainable tourism ecosystem. In essence, Singapore’s journey from a compact nation to a tourism powerhouse is a testament to the STB’s visionary leadership and pioneering strategies. Their holistic approach, combining infrastructure development, technological innovation, and collaboration, has set Singapore on an upward trajectory in the global tourism arena, making it a shining example for nations aspiring to elevate their tourism industry.

We spoke to GB Srithar, Regional Director – India, Middle East, South Asia & Africa; Singapore Tourism Board to elaborate on the multiple aspects that made Singapore a tourism powerhouse.

GB Srithar_Image

TDT: What was the count of Indian visitors to Singapore in the initial six months of 2023? Are the direct flight connections back to pre-pandemic numbers?

GB Srithar: In the period between January and July 2023, Singapore warmly welcomed 6.28 lakh visitors from India, a testament to the city-state’s world-class attractions, diverse culture, and excellent shopping and dining options. It’s clear that Singapore’s unique blend of experiences continues to captivate and entice travellers from India and beyond.

Moreover, Singapore’s excellent connectivity makes it an ideal destination for Indian travellers. With direct flight connections from 17 different Indian cities (New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Tiruchchirappalli, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Thiruvananthapuram, Coimbatore, Amritsar, Visakhapatnam, Pune, Madurai, and Guwahati), including the latest addition of Bhubaneswar that was introduced in June 2023, and a flight time of under 5 hours and an easy, hassle-free visa process that takes about 3 to 5 days, Singapore remains easily accessible and popular among Indian travellers.

TDT: Among the Indian visitors, how many chose to embark on cruise experiences?

GB Srithar: India is a top source market for cruising out of Singapore.

With domestic cruising options on the rise, Indians are now even more exposed to the joys of cruising. When it comes to international cruising, Singapore is regarded one of the most preferred destinations amongst Indian travellers due to its strategic location and state-of the-art cruise lines.

Royal Caribbean International’s Spectrum of the Seas and Resorts World Cruises’ Genting Dream are two top-notch cruise lines that call Singapore home. Perfect for all ages, these cruises offer not only high seas sailing with international shows and cuisines, but also port of calls to neighbouring countries. It’s the perfect way to explore new destinations while enjoying all the comforts of a luxury cruise. And before or after the cruise, Singapore offers a wealth of world-class attractions to enjoy.

Starting in 2025, a brand-new Disney cruise ship will be exclusively home-ported in Singapore for at least five years. It will be the first home port for the cruise line in Southeast Asia. This strategic move is anticipated to further attract foreign cruise passengers, including Indian tourists and those arriving in Singapore by air, thus further strengthen Singapore’s appeal as leisure destination.

TDT: Could you provide information regarding the average length of stay and expenditure of Indian travellers in Singapore?

GB Srithar: The average length of stay for Indian travellers in Singapore is 6.9 days. It is indicative of the Indian travellers’ awareness and desire to explore the diverse, exciting and easy-to-enjoy offerings of this city.

From cruising to exploring iconic & unique experiences, and international entertainment events, there is something for everyone. In addition to sight-seeing, shopping and F&B experiences are popular among Indian tourists.

With public holidays and extended weekends influencing travel choices, longer stays in Singapore are becoming increasingly attractive, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the city-state’s unique culture and experiences.

TDT: Is your approach primarily centred around utilising influencer and digital content to persuade end consumers to consider visiting Singapore?

GB Srithar: Our strategy is multi-pronged and very customer-focussed. In addition to leveraging influencers and digital content to ignite interest in visiting Singapore, we are always on the lookout for creative ways of engaging our Indian audiences. We recently unveiled an
innovative project – ‘Lost and Found in Singapore’. This groundbreaking collaboration with MX Studios on the MX Player OTT platform offers an interactive film experience, allowing viewers to choose the twists and turns in the story, set against Singapore’s backdrop.

This venture caters to evolving preferences, especially among young Indian travellers seeking fresh ways to engage with travel content. ‘Lost and Found in Singapore’ seamlessly merges entertainment and exploration, empowering viewers to connect with Singapore’s attractions. Just as the film empowers viewers, Singapore transforms ordinary moments into extraordinary experiences, showcasing the destination’s essence.

TDT: How significant is the role of the travel trade for the Singapore Tourism Board?

GB Srithar: We consider the travel trade in India as our partner-friends and immensely grateful for the warm relationships, built of mutual trust and respect, that we have established. Under the trade engagement theme of “Deepening Connections, Achieving Together”, we regularly engage and build bonds with the travel trade across India.

In all our communications and outreach efforts, we are very clear of the pivotal role that the travel trade plays in enriching traveller experiences through collaborative efforts. For 2023, our primary objective is to establish Singapore as an enticing destination, with a specific focus on captivating the interest of young Indian travellers and catering to the weddings segment.

The unwavering support of the travel trade, prominently displayed at events like SATTE and roadshows, remains invaluable. These engagements not only serve as opportunities to connect but also lay the foundation for lasting partnerships. Additionally, our trade appreciation events, which include esteemed Singapore tourism stakeholders such as Sentosa Development Corporation, Mandai Wildlife Group, and Singapore Airlines, serve to further solidify these relationships.

We hosted a Cruise and MICE Conclave in March of this year. The events featured insightful discussions led by industry experts and an international keynote speaker who shared the latest trends in the industry. In addition, we launched an innovative AR toolkit in August to
equip our travel trade partners with the latest information on Singapore’s offerings. By scanning unique postcards with their smartphones, they were able to engage with the destination in an interactive and immersive way.

Our close partner-friendships with the travel trade has certainly enabled Singapore to be treated as a top choice destination among the Indian audiences. They have helped bring Singapore even closer to the hearts and minds of the Indian consumers.