At the recent Tourism Industry Conference 2022, chief executive of Singapore Tourism Board (STB), Keith Tan, sounded a clarion call for tourism stakeholders in Singapore to differentiate themselves from competitors with novel products and services.
Speaking to TTG Asia post-conference, industry stakeholders said the call is not new, and they have been adopting the required stance, with fresh, one-of-a-kind, value-added offerings curated to give guests more bang for their buck.
However, as the endemic situation remains fluid and inbound travellers are only returning gradually, the sector will continue to focus their recovery efforts on the domestic market.
Playing up leisure prepositions
Hospitality players have intensified their creative offerings throughout the past two years, some even before the pandemic hit.
The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore, for example, created the world’s only augmented reality hotel art tour just before Covid-19 surfaced.
Its Overnight in the Museum stay package, which is still ongoing, introduces the hotel’s massive art collection to millennial and tech-savvy guests in a novel and fun way, complete with tickets to the ArtScience Museum’s Future World exhibition and an art-themed chocolate amenity, shared Mark Aldridge, director of sales & marketing.
With the iconic Raffles Hotel Singapore celebrating its 135th anniversary in September, managing director Christian Westbeld said more experiential packages will be crafted – a timely endeavour as international arrivals to Singapore continue to improve.
Fellow city hotel, Mandarin Oriental, Singapore, is expanding the guest experience beyond the property confines, with Bikecation accommodation packages that invite guests to explore the Marina Bay precinct on two wheels.
Meanwhile, guests at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) can multiply their fun with Universal Studios Singapore’s new Triple Thrills Pass, which grants holders three special experiences with express passes in three visits to the theme park.
The RWS EcoTrail also allows hotel guests to embark on exclusive tours to discover behind-the-scene operations and environmental initiatives around the integrated resort.
As health concerns continue to be top of mind among travellers, Shangri-La Group is going the extra mile to provide international guests with complimentary AIG Covid-19 emergency medical coverage and access to around-the-clock emergency travel assistance services during their stay.
Despite the earlier travel freeze, Gardens by the Bay has continued to curate new experiences and open up new spaces, according to Ong Kian Ann, director, business development.
New attractions include Kingfisher Wetlands, a nature sanctuary featuring mangroves and a diversity of wildlife; Floral Fantasy, a whimsical attraction where flowers, artistry and technology come together to evoke a fantastical experience; Orchid Haven, a dedicated space for Cloud Forest’s orchid displays and exhibits; and the Supertree Observatory, the highest point in the venue offering visitors a 360° view of Singapore’s downtown.
Noteworthy on the Gardens’ calendar this year is the global debut of Avatar: The Experience, an immersive walk-through event, and the inaugural Wellness Festival Singapore, which includes a multi-sensory pop-up.
Nature draws in Singapore are also expanded by Mandai Wildlife Group’s Jurong Bird Park, which presented Staycation with the Flamingos. Adventurous visitors can venture into the attraction’s largest free flight aviary and camp in fairy-tale bell tents alongside feathered friends.
Eye on family-centric options
To lure domestic staycationers, particularly those with children, Pan Pacific Hotels Group (PPHG) and Shangri-La Singapore have sharpened their family-friendly offerings.
Pan Pacific Singapore launched its first children’s play area and two themed family suites, along with a host of programmes for families.
Enter Urban Jungle Village, a wonderland for children, and Urban Jungle Suites, complete with fun features such as an inflatable rocking hippo, a tepee, and a treehouse bunk bed. Guests also get access to Kiztopia indoor play zone at Marina Square mall.
Shangri-La Singapore dangles uniquely-themed family suites, offering an immersive space for children to sleep and play. Guests also have access to the hotel’s interactive indoor play space, buds by Shangri-La, and Splash, its outdoor water playground, in addition to a tailored kids’ meal programme at its dining outlets. A well-equipped Family Pantry with children’s amenities is a popular feature, as it allows parents to travel light.
Cinn Tan, chief sales & marketing officer, PPHG, said: “Unique offerings like these can keep Singaporeans coming back for staycations, while opening our doors to tourist demand.”