Lion City roars as IMEX opens

City state’s tourism board releases statement declaring MICE industry on way to recovery since Singapore scrapped quarantine and testing for vaccinated travellers. Big calendar of events lined up for 2022 and onwards

SINGAPORE Tourism Board has issued a robust statement highlighting expectations that the MICE industry will recover strongly following the city’s reopening to fully-vaccinated visitors with no quarantine and testing requirements.

The statement comes as the IMEX Frankfurt business event and incentive travel trade show opened to thousands of buyers, exhibitors and conference planners from around the world.

STB pointed to a list of 66 international business events and conferences the city state will be holding this year alone, in addition to 11 major conference already secured for 2023 and 2028, including the Asia CEO Summit and conventions organised by Rotary International and Lions Club International.

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Singapore also hosted more than 200 events last year attended by about 49,000 delegates. In the first three months of this year, the city state hosted more than 150 events attended by over 37,000 delegates.

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

“We look forward to welcoming more business travellers and delegates back to our shores over the next few years, and we hope that the curated experiences under INSPIRE Global 2.0 will encourage visitors to enjoy all that Singapore has to offer.”

Backgrounder… Business events top list in Singapore recovery plan

Under STB’s In Singapore Incentives & Rewards (INSPIRE Global 2.0) programme, qualified MICE groups are introduced to new experiences from dining and attractions to thematic tours and teambuilding. There is a selection of close to 80 complementary experiences – an increase from 54 experiences that were introduced under INSPIRE Global 1.0.

Local industry leaders say the positive outlook for business events follows the recent relaxation of Covid-19 measures in Singapore, such as removing group size and event capacity limits.  Singapore has welcomed all vaccinated travellers eligible to enter since the beginning of April,  with no quarantine and testing requirements.

Richard Ireland, president of Saceos, Singapore’s business event suppliers association, said: “The reopening of our borders without quarantine and removal of event capacity and zoning requirements were truly the game changers that the industry has been looking forward to.

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“With the robust event pipeline and launch of new meeting experiences, we are optimistic that we are on the right track towards the return of a vibrant and viable MICE scene in Singapore. Saceos will continue working closely with the industry and Government to further strengthen Singapore’s longstanding position as an attractive and leading global MICE hub.”

The STB statement also pointed to programmes to encourage sustainable travel and events with government initiatives including the Singapore Green Plan 2030 and the Ecosperity event.

One of the new business events announced for 2023 is the International Trademark Association Annual Meeting Live+ with brand owners and intellectual property professionals from more than 100 countries set to descend on Singapore next May.

STB added that the global exhibition organisers are also expanding their presence in Singapore as a gateway to Southeast Asia and to anchor new events in the city state.

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