FOR all the great hardware and developments, the business events realm in Singapore is shaped as much by experiences and people. At Xperience Singapore, a DMC in the Lion City, Xperience director Jane Goh (above) sees a growth in the number of visitors asking for authentic experiences, writes Sanjay Surana.
“It is a trend not just in Singapore, but everywhere,” says Goh. “When we are asked for ‘authentic experiences’, it is important to understand from the client what their perception of authentic experiences are. Are they traditional, cultural, dining? Do they want to understand how Singaporeans live and interact or how it has developed to be the amazing blend of cultures, modernity and tradition it is today. Often there is a gulf between client perception and the reality.”
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Among the tours the DMC offers are understanding the development of Singapore’s housing policy, enjoying hawker food at Lau Pa Sat or Newton Food Centre, and learning the finer points of Teochew Chinese opera.
“The tours can be delivered in a very exclusive way, such as private home dining or by involving guests in much more public venues where they mingle with locals and are often surprised by the similarities that bind us rather than the differences that separate us.
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“The growth in authentic experiences comes down, as always, to understanding what our guests are looking for and educating and guiding them to the many areas and levels on which those experiences can be delivered.”
Now more visiting groups can experience this side of the Lion City thanks to Singapore Tourism Board extending its Incentives & Rewards (INSPIRE) globally. The scheme was previously targeted at corporate groups from Southeast Asia and specific region.
In partnership with 29 Singapore businesses, INSPIRE offers more than 60 complimentary experiences for qualified visiting groups, such as creating their own bespoke cocktail using herbs and spices found in the Unesco World Heritage site Botanic Gardens.