Encouraged by a growing demand for snow and ski holidays among Singaporeans, three organisations have come together to produce the city-state’s first snow- and ski-focused travel fair from August 4 to 6, with the first day being reserved for trade buyers.
The Singapore Ski and Snow Open – to be held at Snow City – is organised by Singapore-based SportQuest snow sports academy and ski travel specialist, and supported by both Follow Me Japan, a Japan travel specialist in Singapore, and Club Med.
The trade day will see six exhibitors representing resorts and destinations specialising in snow and ski experiences across the world, with Asia being the main focus. Club Med, as a major partner, will showcase its ski resorts across the world, including its second ski property in Japan – Club Med Tomamu Hokkaido – opening this December.
Explaining the motivation behind the launch of this specialist travel fair, Risa Nishimura, managing director of Follow Me Japan, told TTG Asia: “According to the Japan National Tourism Organization, the number of Singaporeans who made snow and ski trips to Japan had grown from 27,000 in 2012 to 72,000 in 2016. Follow Me Japan alone recorded 2,000 snow and ski travellers last year – all being high-end travellers.
“As many of snow and ski enthusiasts plan their trip themselves, there is untapped business potential for travel agents in Singapore,” she added.
In particular, travellers can benefit from the expertise of travel agents who understand the mechanics of a snow and ski programme, said Emeline Tan, founder of SportQuest.
“For instance, some (FITs) would buy pricey daily ski passes but end up playing only at the foot of the slopes because they don’t know how to ski and did not book a trainer to teach them (the basics). Specialists like us will also know which ski resorts offer free play to children under the age of seven, bringing further savings to the family,” she explained.
Also seeing strong interest among Singaporeans, SportQuest has gone from running only seasonal ski programmes to year-round ones now. “Singaporeans are even booking their trips a year ahead,” Tan said.
Sharing the same observations, Club Med Services’ sales director-Singapore Diane Limouzineau said that half of all bookings originating from Singapore are for Club Med’s ski resorts. Of all Singapore bookings, 80 per cent are family groups. “Singaporean guests at our ski resorts are also loyal repeaters,” she added.