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Singapore ‘committed’ to hosting sporting events despite unsuccessful 2025 World Athletics Championships bid: SportSG

Singapore 'committed' to hosting sporting events despite unsuccessful 2025 World Athletics Championships bid: SportSG

The event will return to the site of last year’s Olympic Games in the year that the Japanese Association of Athletics Federations (JAAF) celebrates its centenary.

“Singapore congratulates Tokyo for being awarded the host city for the World Athletics Championships for 2025. While the decision did not go Singapore’s way, we believe that through this bid process we have strengthened our relationship with World Athletics and demonstrated the potential for athletics in Southeast Asia,” said the SportSG spokesperson.

“We remain committed to bringing international sporting events to Singapore and will continue to pursue sporting events that are aligned to our strategic interests. We thank World Athletics for the opportunity to participate in this bid and wish them all the best for the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 and beyond.”

World Athletics said in a press release that Singapore, Nairobi and Silesia were all deemed “strong enough and experienced enough to host the event”.

Tokyo, however, scored the highest of the four candidates in the bid evaluation across four areas.

In March, SportSG announced its bid to host the World Championships in 2025. If it had been successful, it would have been the first time the event was held in Southeast Asia.

Singapore previously hosted the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in 2010 and the Southeast Asian Games in 2015. In motorsport, it hosts a Formula 1 Grand Prix.

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Singapore bounces back as global events organizer

Singapore bounces back as global events organizer
In this photograph taken on February 18, 2022, people take a boat tour before the Marina Bay Sands hotel and resort in Singapore. [Photo/Agencies]

Singapore’s reopening of its borders is jump-starting its once thriving corporate events sector, with the strong “pent-up demand” for face-to-face gatherings and networking seen to sustain the industry in the next two to three years, experts said.

“It would be very fair to say the recovery is very real. It’s real because people are coming back to conventions and exhibitions,” said Richard Ireland, president of the Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organizers and Suppliers.

The Singapore Tourism Board, or STB, forecast that the industry of Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions, or MICE, will enjoy full recovery in two to three years. Industry players are likewise optimistic, noting that after a two-year hiatus, the city-state is once again hosting some of the biggest international events. These include the Shangri-La Dialogue and the Food and Hotel Asia Food and Beverage trade event that will be held in September.

Ireland expects that full recovery is possible in less than two years, noting that there is strong “pent-up demand “for the desire of people to have face-to-face meetings and networking.

Lawrence Loh, director at the Centre for Governance and Sustainability at the National University of Singapore, said the MICE sector might even “recover sooner than later” and “this may take place even earlier than two to three years’ time”.

“It is just like the aviation and hospitality industry right now when the recovery has been faster than anticipated. Many entities are currently facing severe crunches to even fill up job vacancies to cater to the sudden rise in demand,” Loh told China Daily.

As one of the world’s key financial centers and a global aviation hub, Singapore is home to the thriving MICE industry. The industry’s annual revenue hit S$3.8 billion ($2.73 billion) and accounted for 0.8 percent of the GDP prior to the pandemic.

The industry, however, is also one of the hardest hit by the pandemic as closed borders and social distancing measures hindered mass gatherings. But in October 2020, the STB started to accept applications for organizers to pilot MICE events of up to 250 attendees. The Singaporean government has also developed testing protocols for foreign delegates and other visitors.

Last year, Singapore hosted over 200 events. In the first quarter of this year, Singapore hosted more than 150 events attended by over 37,000 delegates.

Jean-Francois Quentin, the group CEO of events organizer Constellar, said the MICE sector has shown signs of recovery and accelerated growth ever since the government lifted travel and social gathering restrictions in April. He said for the second half of the year, Singapore has secured at least 66 international events and already has a number of events lined up for next year.

Ireland said the pandemic has encouraged event organizers to be “more mindful and well prepared for the safety of our customers”.



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Singapore Grabbing Big Events as Travel Revival Brings in Crowds – BNN Bloomberg

Singapore Grabbing Big Events as Travel Revival Brings in Crowds - BNN Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) — Singapore’s Tourism Board is confident that the city-state will host a growing number of international conventions, exhibitions and other events now that borders have reopened and people are traveling freely again.  

“The business community is eager for opportunities to meet and network in person,” Yap Chin Siang, the board’s deputy chief executive, said in a statement Wednesday. “This desire, as well as the recent easing of our border restrictions, puts the MICE industry in good stead to recover strongly.” 

MICE refers to meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions, a sector that accounted for about 1% of Singapore’s gross domestic product before the Covid pandemic and 15% of international arrivals, according to the Tourism Board. In addition to industry conventions, MICE covers company gatherings such as off-site meetings, where staff from different locations join up for internal events. 

Strong Start

In the first three months of 2022, Singapore hosted more than 150 local and international events attended by over 37,000 people, the Tourism Board said. They included the biennial Singapore Airshow in February, the largest of its kind in the region, and Asia Pacific Maritime in March. A full recovery for the MICE industry is expected in two to three years, according to the board. 

Major events planned for later this year include the Shangri-La Dialogue, an annual meeting that draws top military officials and diplomats from around the world. The Global Health Security Conference is scheduled for the end of June and the Milken Institute Asia Summit will be held in September. 

There is still a long way to go until Singapore gets back to bustling levels of business it was known for before the pandemic. While there’s been a strong uptick in passenger flow at Changi Airport since entry curbs were lifted for all vaccinated travelers in April, traffic is only about 50% of what it was in 2019. Terminal 2 was partially reopened earlier this week, but Terminal 4 remains closed after both were shuttered in 2020 as Covid wiped out travel. 

Hong Kong Left Behind

As Singapore rolls out the red carpet and canapes, regional rival Hong Kong is missing out for now as it sticks to some of its harsher Covid restrictions, including mandatory seven-day hotel quarantines. Hong Kong has canceled popular annual highlights such as Art Basel, the Clockenflap music festival and its rugby sevens tournament during the pandemic, while anti-government protests also scuppered several events the year before Covid broke. 

The lingering restrictions have made Singapore a much more attractive option. Jewellery & Gem World in September and November’s Cosmoprof and Cosmopack Asia, which focuses on cosmetics supply chains, are among the events relocating from Hong Kong to the small Southeast Asian country. 

Formula One

Sport also falls under the MICE umbrella. The Singapore Grand Prix is returning on Sept. 30-Oct. 2 following a two-year hiatus. The Formula One weekend has fast become a major feature on the national calendar, with thousands of spectators watching cars racing around Marina Bay at night. Three-day grandstand and hospitality packages for this year’s event sold out within six hours in April, though more may become available. Away from the track, the entertainment lineup includes performances by Westlife and Green Day.

Setting aside smaller, local events, there are at least 66 international conferences and exhibitions planned for the rest of the year, whereas Hong Kong has about 50, according to its Tourism Board, though not on the scale of the bigger ones in Singapore. 

Singapore expects the events will help restore it as a prime business and tourist destination in Asia. The government has set aside almost S$500 million ($364 million) to support tourism and is planning new attractions, including a leisure park where people can skate, surf, ski and snowboard. 

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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Singapore to resume large-scale business, leisure events in tourism sector

Singapore to resume large-scale business, leisure events in tourism sector

SINGAPORE – The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is gearing up for a strong comeback by the tourism sector and will pave the way for large-scale, high-quality business and leisure events to recommence this year, Minister of State for Trade and Industry Low Yen Ling said in Parliament on Friday (March 4).

Speaking during the debate on the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s (MTI) budget, Ms Low said many more events, such as the Global Health Security Conference 2022 and Find Design Fair Asia 2022, as well as the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix and the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, will be held later in the year.

“We will defend our position as a leading destination for high-quality business and leisure events. We hit a ‘pause’ button on these because of Covid-19,” said Ms Low.

The Singapore Air Show 2022, which took place from Feb 15 to 18, welcomed an estimated 13,000 trade attendees and almost 600 exhibitors from more than 39 countries.

STB has also just launched the Tourism Careers Hub pilot to provide training and skills upgrading for workers and firms in the tourism sector.

The initiative will focus on job matching within the sector and encouraging technology transformation, among other workforce improvement efforts.

The STB will accelerate its SingapoReimagine campaign as international travel resumes, and help tourism companies develop attractive products and experiences.

In addition, the SingapoRediscovers voucher (SRV) scheme was launched in 2020 to drive local spending at hotels, attractions and tours here.

The scheme has since generated nearly $300 million in SRV-related bookings and transactions, and up to $100 million in ancillary spending.

The MTI will also work with the tourism sector to co-create innovative tech and digital solutions.

Over the past three years, STB’s Singapore Tourism Accelerator Programme has supported 34 promising tech start-ups in developing solutions to ready the sector for the future.

“Covid-19 has hit the tourism sector very hard, but despite the challenges, we have continued to quickly adapt and pivot to new propositions to come back stronger,” said Ms Low.

“We will continue to support the tourism sector’s efforts to recover, innovate and come back stronger than before.”