M!CE travel reimagined in Singapore

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Firing up the imagination of corporate travellers, Singapore Tourism Board is reshaping the contours of M!CE travel with an array of well-crafted immersive experiences.

Lipla Negi

At the 8th edition of the Travel M!CE & Corporate show in Chennai, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) showcased uniquely crafted experiences that the country offers to corporate and M!CE groups. Speaking on the sideline of the show, Renjie Wong, Area Director, India, South Asia & Middle East (Mumbai), STB said, “The Travel M!CE Show has been an effective B2B event which enable us to meet quality buyers from all across the country. This time, we really loved being able to meet a lot of corporates based in and around Chennai and sharing the word about reimagining M!CE travel to Singapore.”  This is the third time that STB has participated in Travel M!CE & Corporate show, after the editions in Delhi and Pune.

Pushing the boundaries of imagination, the STB is taking bold steps to present the best immersive experiences for M!CE groups of all sizes. Casting away the inhibitions that M!CE industry had about recovery of big events post-pandemic, Renjie said, “Big M!CE groups are back, and they are back with vengeance. There were worries globally about the ability of the industry to manage big group movements. I am very happy to share that last year, Singapore welcomed two big corporate groups from India—Herbalife (4,000 pax) and SBI Life (2,400 pax).” He further affirmed how good responses from the Indian corporates boosted the Singapore M!CE sector. “It is really with these mega movements, we were able to showcase the kind of possibilities that Singapore has as a leading M!CE destination to reimagine what M!CE can be for C-suites, dealers and their accompanying families who are on the trip,” he added.

The desire to dive into ‘reimagined experiences’ is firing up the corporates’ appetite for travel. He highlighted, “They want more than just clicking another selfie with landmarks or at tourist spots and look forward to immersing in the culture of the destination and it is customised M!CE experiences. These trends are what we have observed since M!CE travel has restarted. In March 2023, the STB launched a new platform called SingapoRewards.  It is a scheme for all travellers, including business travellers, to Singapore who are eligible to pick one out of the close to 40 reimagined experiences and enjoy it for free.”

With an aim to spotlight the hidden gems of Singapore, the STB has been working relentlessly to curate out-of-the-box experiences for travellers that help them explore the country in a different way. He explained, “It is really for us not just a way of welcoming the world to come and experience Singapore with a slew of new experiences but more importantly, understanding what we mean when we say ‘travel in a completely different way.’ For instance, a lot of these experiences are off the beaten path and very immersive. So, whether it is sitting down with one of Singapore’s most famous designers GINLEE and making one of her iconic pleated bags or going fishing in a mangrove swamp on a kayak with a trained naturalist, it is about being able to appreciate Singapore from a completely different perspective. The ability to stir the curiosity and imagination of business travellers with unique experiences makes Singapore a leading M!CE destination.”

Over the last few decades, Singapore has established itself as a global business and leisure hub. The country hosted several M!CE events in 2022, including the Singapore Airshow in February and the Fintech Festival in November, which attracted a record turnout of more than 62,000 attendees from over 115 countries since its inaugural edition in 2016. Singapore also hosted some first-time events such as The World Stroke Congress held in October 2022. It was the largest in-person delegation since the pandemic of over 2,000 people. Singapore continues to build up a healthy pipeline of significant M!CE events for 2023 and will host business events such as the Gastech Exhibition & Conference, which is the world’s largest gas and LNG exhibition.

In a move to reinforce its commitment to sustainability, Singapore has positioned itself as a green destination, perfectly blending biophilic elements with its urban cityscape so travellers can soak in the beauty of nature while in the heart of the city. In December 2022, STB and Singapore Association of Convention & Exhibition Organisers & Suppliers launched the M!CE Sustainability Roadmap to raise sustainability standards across Singapore’s M!CE industry, encouraging tourism stakeholders to incorporate elements of sustainability into their experiences. This year, Singapore became the first country in the world to be recognized as a sustainable destination by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, a significant step forward for Asia’s achievements in conscious travel.

With the modern-day travellers growing ever more tech-savvy and companies aggressively pushing their green credentials, the suite of reimagined experiences, embracing technology and Singapore’s recognition as a destination for sustainable travel have further burnished the country’s appeal to M!CE travellers.