July 15, 2022 | By Gerardine Donough-Tan | Image: Gardens by the Bay in Singapore
To further boost business events, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has refreshed the In Singapore Incentives & Rewards (INSPIRE Global 2.0) program and long-running Singapore MICE Advantage Programme (SMAP). INSPIRE Global 2.0, popular in Australasia, has new options expanding the range of experiences offered.
INSPIRE Global 2.0 offers MICE groups close to 80 options across 54 partners, up from 54 experiences across 28 partners in INSPIRE Global 1.0. Singapore wants to show that it continues to offer new, exciting and inspiring experiences that will enhance business meetings in the city-state.
INSPIRE experiences are complimentary for eligible MICE groups.
It also aims to galvanise the MICE industry to continue developing innovative experiences that will appeal to delegates and event organisers in a post-pandemic world, said Dr Edward Koh, Executive Director, Conventions, Meetings & Incentive Travel at STB.
“Our new offerings include rooftop dining at 1-V:U at The Outpost Hotel in Sentosa; Mobile Experiential Trails by LDR; an immersive experience combining flora history of Singapore and perfume making at Scentopia; luxurious experiences aboard the Royal Albatross, a four-masted superyacht; private shopping experiences at Design Orchard and more,” said Koh.
STB data shows that the Oceania market is generally interested in dining experiences, attractions and thematic tours.
“Activities well-suited for the Oceania audience include dining and sightseeing experiences at Singapore Zoo and Gardens by the Bay, golfing at Sentosa Golf Club, and tours with Singapore Sidecars,” Koh said.
SMAP encourages sustainability
The Singapore MICE Advantage Programme offers financial grants to business events coming to Singapore as well as discounted or complimentary airline tickets on Singapore Airlines and other cost-saving measures for organisers.
Enhancements in the third iteration of the program include new sustainability-focused initiatives to encourage sustainable travel and more environmentally-conscious business events. Refreshed initiatives include green transportation options, environmentally-conscious tours and discounted public transportation on trains and buses.
STB’s partners in SMAP are Singapore Airlines (SIA), Changi Airport Group, Jet Quay, Sentosa, Starhub, Grab and NETS. While SIA’s budget subsidiary Scoot is not participating in SMAP, SIA said it continues to work closely with Scoot to explore MICE-related opportunities collectively. SIA’s “official airline” partnerships with organisers of major international conferences and exhibitions are separate from the SMAP scheme.
“The main beneficiaries of SMAP are event owners, organisers, PEOs and PCOs,” said Koh.
“The travel discounts and complimentary initiatives (e.g. flight tickets for site visits) will directly offset the cost of organising an event in Singapore. In addition, discounted ride-hailing services and SIM cards, for instance, will benefit delegates who are attending the event.”
STB revealed that of 159 MICE events offered SMAP 2.0 benefits before COVID-19, 85 events have since materialised, contributing 180,000 visitor arrivals to Singapore. So far this year, over a dozen MICE events are utilising SMAP 3.0 resulting in more than 15,000 visitor arrivals.
“STB’s Oceania office promotes SMAP through tradeshows, product training and STB Oceania-organised MICE events and we hope that organisers will tap on it for future events,” Koh said.