A new DMC player finds fresh touring ideas in Singapore’s culture and heritage, writes Pamela Chow
The latest DMC to enter the playing field, Xperience Singapore Events & Travel is keen to bring a host of in-depth and immersive activities for leisure and business travellers.
Owned by Xperience DMC – a partner of Destination China – Xperience is headed by director Jane Goh, a veteran in hotel conference services and tourism with more than a decade of guiding experience.
She opined: “There are many other things we can do to sell the country as a destination, but they’re not being done yet. There’s a lot of focus on man-made attractions, but the soft (experience) is not there yet. I wanted to show another side of Singapore that many travellers and incentive visitors have not seen.”
Activities offered include learning and performing the Chinese lion dance, tracking and photographing otters in the city, and rowing across Marina Reservoir on dragonboat.
Goh shared: “We only started in April, and there was an avalanche of ideas in just three months.”
The spark came in the form of a Teochew opera troupe performing at the Singapore Heritage Festival, where she witnessed their behind-the-scenes preparations.
“When I saw that, I knew that tourists would love seeing something like this,” Goh recalled, and revealed that the performers were initially “a bit worried” and shy to open up their practice to tour groups.
However, not only was she able to negotiate with and convince the opera troupe, Goh was also introduced to their friends from other cultural groups such as lion dances and Wing Chun (a martial arts style).
Many of these groups are willing to welcome tourists, but do not have the means or knowledge of how to market themselves to visitors, she explained.
She also revealed that the dragonboat racing group had approached a travel agent for a partnership in the past, but was turned away.
“Our guides have become bored with city tours, so they’re excited to start these activities,” shared Goh.
Xperience’s smaller size can be an advantage, Goh insisted. “We are very involved in direct contact with our clients,” she said. “We give our clients the link to the management and the assurance that we are always here if there’s anything they need.”