BEIJING, China – Singapore’s tourism authorities have launched a new campaign to attract more Chinese tourists to the island republic.
This is mainly to target more experienced and well-heeled travelers.
The Singapore Tourism Board’s new marketing campaign launched in Beijing seems hardly complete without its tourism ambassador and pop star Stefanie Sun.
Titled New Discoveries, it’s aimed at helping Chinese tourists deepen their understanding of Singapore, and give them with reasons to visit Singapore again and again.
According to the World Tourism Organization, by the year 2020, China looks set to become the world’s fourth largest tourist-generating country.
And clearly, the needs and expectations of Chinese tourists have evolved and changed over the years, and will continue to do so in the years ahead.
Edward Chew, chief representative regional director, Greater China, Singapore Tourism Board, said: “They are becoming a lot more knowledgeable about what’s out there in the world and they want to see different things.
“But one of the biggest trends that we see is that they are looking to understand cultures, they are looking to understand destinations, they want to know how the local people live and gain an appreciation for those factors.”
With 1.17 million arrivals last year, Chinese tourists are the second largest group of foreign tourists to Singapore, after Indonesia.
They are also the second biggest spenders in the first half this year.
And they’re increasingly coming to Singapore on semi-free and easy tour packages.
Mr Edward Chew said: “Lots of Chinese may have visited the zoo, but they have never gone behind the scenes, they’ve never done the zookeeper thing, and I think right now the market is poised for them to actually enjoy such things.
And the third piece which I think is probably very important is showing them where Singaporeans hang out and how we live our lives.
“And the things we enjoy; the things we are proud of and excited about. Those things we want them to know about or at least experience it.”
Highly popular in China, tourism ambassador Stefanie Sun also shared with Chinese tourists her favorite food and destinations in Singapore.
Stefanie Sun said: “In Singapore, there is something known as “teh tarik”, and it’s a tea that’s prepared by Indians where it’s pulled very long. This helps reduce the temperature to make it easier to drink. It’s very frothy and fragrant. In Singapore, we also turn this tea into an ice-cream.”
In the first half of this year, over 758,000 Chinese visited Singapore, a 35 per cent increase from a year ago.