Singapore’s New Shan Travel is taking a big step into the sports tourism arena with packages for the coming SEA Games.
New Shan Travel is the appointed travel agent supporting Sport Singapore, formerly the Singapore Sports Council, which decided this year to use tour packages to rally spectator support for Singapore athletes, said New Shan’s group general manager, James Tang.
This week’s departures, which feature the opening ceremony and Laos-Singapore football match at SEA Games, have been sold out. Packages departing next week are selling fast, Tang added, with local Olympic hero Joseph Schooling’s swim events featured in some of the programmes.
Packages also include activities and meals centred on healthy living, in line with Sport Singapore’s focus.
“Team Nila (a group of sports events volunteers spearheaded by Sport Singapore) is the majority group that’s going out, but we have also seen (take-up) by corporates, individuals, local institutions and polytechnics,” he shared.
This has awoken the agency to opportunities in sporting event tourism. It has been “great exposure” to a new area of business for the relatively “old school, old brand” agency as it evolves with the times, said Tang. “It is about trying to develop the kind of portfolio that allows us to (broaden our expertise).”
Tang is confident that more sports tourists will turn to New Shan following its SEA Games exposure. “We last week got an enquiry from a group of 30 wanting to visit Australia for a marathon event. I thought that was very encouraging.”