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SHA-NATAS MICE Industry Outlook and Networking Event

It was a rainy day, but the wet weather did not dampen anyone’s spirits in the slightest as members of NATAS and SHA headed down to the Equarius Hotel to attend a briefing by STB on the outlook of the MICE industry, and to network with one another – establishing and renewing partnerships with one another. Hosted graciously by Resorts World Sentosa, the event, which culminated in a visit to the Marine Life Park and Ocean Suites, was attended by well over 200 participants.

Mr Robert Khoo, Group Chief Executive Officer of NATAS, kicked off the afternoon session with an address, calling it “an opportunity… to get together to connect and establish rapport with one another, to share insights and forge lasting business partnerships.” He called for closer working partnerships between the various organizations and members of the travel industry, saying that “we are all part of the tourism and travel industry, and it is imperative that we work hand in hand to ensure that our industry thrives and Singapore is kept as an attractive destination for tourists from all over the world.” Ms Margaret Heng, Executive Director of SHA, expressed similar sentiments, and stated that she hoped the session would be a fruitful one for all participants involved.

Ms Neeta Lachmandas, Assistant Chief Executive of STB, briefed participants on the outlook of the MICE Industry as well as what local travel agents can expect to see in terms of inbound tourism in 2013. She shared some insights and statistics compiled by STB, showing that 25% of all inbound tourists are from the BT MICE sector, and that they account for a total of 30% of tourism receipts in Singapore. She added that STB is forecasting an approximate 13.5 to 14.5 million visitors in 2013.

Mr Noel Hawkes, Vice President, Resort Operations of RWS, was the last to speak at the session before participants broke off to network with one another. He gave an overview of the attractions in Resorts World Sentosa, and pledged that RWS will work closely with hoteliers and travel agents to package the numerous attractions with hotel stays, adding that such packages would not be exclusive to RWS hotels. He proudly proclaimed that RWS’s aim “is to drive business within Singapore”, to thunderous applause.

The session and its outcome could perhaps be best summed up by Mr Khoo’s words: “Singapore is well-primed to climb to greater heights within the global community, and we are leading the charge. I am very excited to see what the future will bring.”





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