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Singapore’s new vacation sites charm Indonesians

Publication Date : 22-06-2012


Singapore, the sixth most popular tourist destination in Asia Pacific, is getting ready to wow customers in Indonesia, its largest market, a Singapore Tourism Board (STB) executive said yesterday.

"This June, there will be the Sesame Street Theme Park Ride in Universal Studios and Gardens by the Bay, located in Marina Bay,” STB conventions, meetings, exhibitions and conferences executive director Jeannie Lim said during a press conference in Jakarta.

Located on 101 hectares, the Gardens by the Bay will showcase various themed gardens and plants from around the world in cooled conservatories, while the Marine Life Aquarium in Resort World Sentosa would soon be launched, Lim said.

For shopping lovers, the Great Singapore Sale will be held until July 22.

Last year, 2.59 million Indonesians visited Singapore, with most searching for discounts in shopping malls or visiting theme parks.

In the last 10 years, Indonesia has become the leading source of tourists for Singapore.

This trend has persisted, given that Indonesian were easily charmed by up-to-date sites, said Budi Tirtawisata. the CEO of Panorama, a tourism, transportation and hospitality company.

Affordable flights were the key factor behind Indonesians’ decisions to spend their holidays in the city-state.

"Flight tickets [from Jakarta] to Makassar, South Sulawesi cost US$400, much more expensive than flying to Singapore for only $150,” he said.

In fact, Singapore is not only prepared to welcome large numbers of tourists arriving by plane, but also by cruise ship.

Aiming to establish the country as Asia’s cruise hub, the nation just opened Marina Bay Cruise Centre, to supplement HarbourFront.

The new $500 million terminal is designed to cater to bigger ships than the existing terminal.

"Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia, has many islands which can accommodate a growth in the cruise business,” Jeannie added.

This year, Singapore has targeted attracting 14 million foreign tourists, up 6 per cent from 13.2 million tourists last year.

The STB said that the target was very achievable, given the trajectory of the Asia-Pacific region was recorded 4 to 6 per cent annual growth in the tourism sector, higher than the international growth rate of 3 to 4 per cent, the UN World Tourism Organisation said.

According to its latest world tourism rankings, Singapore was ranked the sixth most popular destination in the Asia-Pacific region, ahead of South Korea (7) and Indonesia (8), but behind Macau (5), Thailand (4), Hong Kong (3).

At the same event, the STB officially invited Tirtawisata and Marc Steinmeyer, the president director of Tauzia hotel management, to be Indonesia’s representatives at the Asia Travel Leaders Summit in Singapore on Oct. 16.

The closed meeting is a key event of Asia’s largest tourism festival, Travel Rave.

"The summit will be a good opportunity to highlight Indonesia’s tourism potential and investment opportunities in the tourism realm” said Steinmeyer, whose company manages several hotel brands, namely Preference, Worldhotels, Harris hotels and Pop! hotels.


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