Top News Singapore Sevens to hit town as family-friendly event By Pamela Chow / Posted on 24 January, 2018 10:45 Twenty-four per cent of Singapore Sevens attendees last year were foreign visitors The HSBC World Singapore Rugby Sevens is pushing beyond its sporting roots to become a family-friendly festival that hopes to pull in travellers from around Asia. Supported by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and government agency Sport Singapore, event organiser Rugby Singapore has been increasing outreach efforts to tie up with attractions and travel agents. Twenty-four per cent of Singapore Sevens attendees last year were foreign visitors “We see the Singapore Sevens as one of the tentpole events that can bring fans and people from around the world to Singapore. We are currently in talks with agents, family-friendly attractions and retail options for partnerships”, shared David Lim, chairman of the board, Rugby Singapore. He added that there has been a “rise in popularity” for rugby in Asia, particularly driven by Japan’s recent victories in the sport. Last year, 24 per cent of Singapore Sevens attendees were foreign visitors, and the event generated a total economic impact of S$23.5 million (US$18 million). As the only South-east Asian host in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, Singapore aims to “draw more visitors from proximity markets such as Malaysia and Indonesia”, by delivering a memorable fan experience that differs yearly, STB’s sports director Jean Ng told TTG Asia. For the third edition this year, Rugby Singapore is stepping up the programme with the Singapore Rugby Carnival, an event with activities such as face painting, themed challenges, inflatable stations, photo booths, local bands and food. “We want that diverse variety of activities – not just sports – that will engage and bring people (together) here. This is something we want to use to distinguish ourselves from every other stop in the World Series,” explained Lim. The Singapore Sevens is the eighth leg – out of 10 – in the Series, and is one stop after the sell-out Hong Kong Sevens. Agents feel that having the event as a destination lure is a plus for Singapore. General manager of Diethelm Travel, Judy Lum, described the initiative as “good news”. She said: “The organiser should consider having a dialogue with local DMCs. I am sure there are some of us who can help to promote it to overseas tour operators.” Samson Tan, founder/CEO of GTMC Travel, suggested maximising marketing distribution by using the National Association of Travel Agents Singapore as a communication platform with agents.