Tag Archives: Singapore

Henley Passport Index 2018 ranking puts India on 81st spot

India has secured 81st spot on the 2018 Henley Passport Index, with visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 60 destinations. The current ranking is an improvement from last year’s, when India stood at 86. The 2018 Henley Passport Index is a ranking of all the passports of the world according to the number of countries their holders can travel to, visa-free. As per the index, Indians have access to travel without a visa to 60 countries, which includes Bhutan, Mauritius, Nepal, Fiji, among others. Japan has overtaken Singapore in terms of the most powerful passport. The island country now enjoys visa-free/visa-on-arrival access to 190 destinations, compared to Singapore’s total of 189. ‘Japan and Singapore have been neck and neck on the index since they both climbed to first place in February — following a visa-exemption from Uzbekistan — and pushed Germany down to second for the first time since 2014,’ the statement said. In this year’s ranking, both UK and US have slipped the charts with 186 destinations. ‘‘With stagnant outbound visa activity compared to Asian high-performers such as Japan, Singapore, and South Korea, it seems increasingly unlikely that the US and the UK will regain the number one spot they jointly held in 2015,’’ the statement said. Afghanistan and Iraq were ranked lowest on the index, as they have free-visa access to only 30 countries.

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Sabre Technology Exchange kicks off in Singapore

About 650 participants from across Asia Pacific have gathered at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore to get an in-depth understanding of Sabre technology offerings across the airline, hotel and travel distribution portfolios. The new Sabre approach is highly content driven and offers an array of technology solutions under one roof. Participants have gathered from over 30 countries for this innovative and informative event.    

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Singapore recorded 6.1 lakh visitors from India from Jan-May 2018

Singapore has received over six lakh visitors from India between January to May 2018, reporting a 17 per cent year-on-year increase from 2017. The year 2017 was a record year for STB as visitor arrivals from India had crossed the one million mark for the third time in a row, showcasing the highest growth rate at 16 per cent in comparison with all markets. India also continues to be the top source market for visitor arrivals in the cruise segment for Singapore. Last year, 127,000 cruise passengers from India sailed out of Singapore’s shores, showing a year-on-year increase of 25 per cent from 2016. While speaking about STB’s efforts to showcase Singapore as a destination of choice among Indian travellers, GB Srithar,  Regional Director – South Asia Middle East & Africa (SAMEA), STB, said, “STB has been steadfastly engaging travellers through partnerships and various marketing initiatives. Last year, India moved up a spot to become the third largest source market for Singapore in terms of Visitor Arrivals. We are looking forward to working closely with both Indian and Singaporean travel trade partners to continue the momentum and entice more Indian travellers.” This year, the STB has lined up a series of collaborative initiatives to welcome more Indian travellers to Singapore in 2018. They embarked on an 8-city roadshow from July 16-26 with close to 40 stakeholders to grow their partnership with in-market travel agents. This is part of STB’s ongoing efforts to take the ‘Passion Made Possible’ brand messaging forward and showcase Singapore’s diverse offerings to the target audience.    

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Hilton appoints Matt Fry as Senior Vice President of Development in Asia Pacific

Hilton has announced the appointment Matt Fry as Senior Vice President—Development in Asia Pacific (APAC). Effective August 6, 2018, Fry will oversee the team responsible for the overall development strategy for APAC. “We are thrilled to have Matt join our team and oversee the strategic growth in APAC,” said Ian Carter, President—Global Development, Architecture, Design and Construction, Hilton. “His appointment represents our commitment to building on our tremendous success and achievements there. Fry’s extensive experience in the real estate and development industry will be invaluable as we continue to expand our global footprint in this region.” A seasoned professional, Fry brings with him to Hilton over 20 years of experience in the real estate and development industry with nearly 18 years leading diverse teams at Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Most recently, Fry served as the head of global real estate operations and America’s real estate at WeWork, a company growing rapidly around the world to provide shared workspaces with a strong emphasis on community for entrepreneurs, freelancers, small businesses and large enterprises. “I am excited to be joining the world’s most hospitable company and overseeing the development efforts for APAC,” said Fry. “Hilton has had incredible growth and the best-performing portfolio of brands in the business. This is a testament to the incredible global development team, which I am eager to work with during this exciting time for the company and industry.” Fry will be based in Hilton’s APAC regional office in Singapore and will report to Ian Carter, president, global development, architecture, design and construction.

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Singapore reports growth of 25% in Indian cruise tourists

Singapore-based cruise companies are reporting strong growth in footfall of Indian tourists, with some 127,000 of them having sailed on luxury liners last year, up 25 per cent from 2016. Industry players have also noted a jump in fly-cruise tourists from India. A spokesperson for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings said the company believes the Indian market “has potential to grow at double-digit rates”. “We are seeing an increasing number of Indian tourists booking fly-cruise packages to Singapore as the island is a regional hub and port… From Singapore, the tourists are able to visit a number of other countries depending on the cruise package they have booked,” the spokesperson said. A Royal Caribbean spokesperson said the number of Indian guests taking its cruises has increased by 10 per cent to 20 per cent yearly, especially after the arrival of its Voyager Class ships to South-east Asia in 2013. Indian tourists like the convenience of packing for one trip but being able to travel to several countries at one time, the spokesperson added. In 2017, international visitor arrivals in Singapore increased by 6.2 per cent to 17.4 million, with those from India posting the highest growth rate of 16 per cent, according to Singapore Tourism Board.

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Aviation Festival 2018 kicks off in Singapore

More than 2,000 attendees, 1,000 airline and airport representatives, and 150 speakers will attend the Aviation Festival 2018 from February 27-28 at the Suntec Convention Centre, Singapore. The festival will take place over two days with over 150 presentations taking place, 24 round-table debates and loads of networking in overall 100 exhibition booths. The festival will be an experience and one designed to help the attendees get the most out of the two days. In 2004, the World Low Cost Airlines Congress Asia was launched in Singapore. The low cost airline model was starting to shake up the aviation industry and the event was a place where the industry could meet and form partnerships. With a modest 234 attendees in the first year, the event grew steadily over the past 13 years, reaching over 1,800 attendees in 2017, establishing itself as a must attend event for Asian low cost carriers and their partners. But these days it looks a little different. World Low Cost Airlines Congress is still a large part of the festival, drawing in low cost carriers from across Asia and the Middle East. But now there are seven more events under the festival banner that will cater to full-service airlines and airports as well.

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India crosses 1 mn mark in visitor arrivals to Singapore

For the third time in a row, visitor arrivals from India to Singapore has crossed the 1 million mark in 2017, reinforcing it as one of the most preferred destinations for Indian travellers. Singapore Tourism Board (STB) announced that India has recorded the highest growth rate of 16 per cent among all markets. While Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi and Bangalore continue to remain their top VA source cities, STB’s efforts to engage travellers from Ahmedabad, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata and Pune have resulted in double-digit VA growth. GB Srithar, Regional Director – SAMEA, Singapore Tourism Board, said “We thank the Indian travellers and our travel trade partners for the record 1.27 million Indian visitors to our country in 2017. We are happy that Singapore continues to be perceived as one of the must-visit destinations. This year, STB will focus on expanding partnership with travel trade partners and promoting our new brand creatively. India continued to be the top source market for VA in the cruise segment for Singapore. 127,000 cruise passengers from India sailed out of Singapore’s shores in 2017, a year-on-year increase of 25 per cent from 2016. 2017 was a landmark year for STB as it unveiled the country’s new, unified brand identity ‘Passion made Possible’ in August.  

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Jet to strengthen Bengaluru presence via second daily to Singapore

Effective March 15, 2018, Jet Airways will commence a second daily frequency from Bengaluru to Singapore. The introduction of the second frequency forms part of Jet Airways’ focus to strengthen its presence in Bengaluru as the carrier’s upcoming third hub, aside from Mumbai and Delhi. The new daily flight, 9W 26 will depart from Bengaluru at 02:05 hrs (IST) and arrive into Singapore at 09:15 hrs (LT). During its return journey, flight 9W 25 will depart from Singapore at 10:15 hrs (LT), arriving in Bengaluru at 12:10 hrs (IST). To celebrate the introduction of the new frequency, Jet Airways has announced special return Economy fares from Bengaluru, starting at INR 11,768 only. These inaugural fares are applicable for journeys commencing from March 15, 2018 onwards. Gaurang Shetty, Whole Time Director, Jet Airways said, “Jet Airways has seen an enthusiastic response from its guests travelling between Bengaluru and Singapore. This second daily service will benefit business travellers who are looking at tapping into India and Singapore’s promising commercial opportunities.” The new frequency will now offer guests from Bengaluru convenient connections to Denpasar/Bali, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur on flights operated by codeshare partners Garuda and Malaysian Airlines via Singapore.

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India jumps to third largest source market for Singapore

India has moved up to the third position from the fourth in terms of visitor arrivals to Singapore along with a double digit growth of 17 per cent growth until October 2017, and continues to be the third largest tourism receipts generating market for Singapore. Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has organised a two-city roadshow in Mumbai and Jaipur to deepen this relationship with the Indian travel trade. G.B. Srithar, Regional Director–South Asia Middle East & Africa, STB said, “India has always been a key source market for Singapore. We are happy to have already crossed 2016’s full year 1.1 million visitor arrivals mark from India as end October 2017. We thank all our trade fraternity for their support in bringing our destination promotion messages to our audiences. Through our roadshows, we seek to renew our ties with the travel trade, entrench existing partnerships and forge new ones through creative promotions.” Year 2017 was a landmark year for STB with strategic associations with a Bollywood movie ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’, participation in cruise forums, travel trade conferences, partnerships with airlines, launch of the Vegetarian Food Guide, penetration in the regional markets such as Chandigarh, Jaipur, Lucknow, etc. and the unveiling of a new brand identity.’

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Genting Dream to be home-ported in Singapore from Dec 3

Dream Cruises has announced that its inaugural vessel, Genting Dream, will be home-ported year-round in Singapore starting from December 3, 2017. This marks a first for Singapore to host a new and large-scale 151,300-tonne cruise ship year-round. The ship will call at more than 10 ports in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam during 2018. Naresh Rawal, Vice President Sales, Star Cruises, Dream Cruises & Crystal Cruises, added, “Apart from this, we are also waiting for the launch of World Dream sailing, the second ship under Dream Cruises, from Hong Kong. We also have something lined up for the new year with Crystal Air’s six-night itinerary that includes Sydney and Honolulu from December 30 to January 4, 2018.” The privately-owned luxury jet has the highest staff-to-guest ratio with Crystal Skye butlers, fine wines, Champagnes and premium spirits, networking area, a bar, 88 handcraft, fully-reclining Crystal Exclusive Class flatbed seats, state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment system and complimentary Wi-Fi.

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