Singapore expects to welcome more than 1.5 million Indian tourists this year, with efforts directed towards enhancing its hospitality infrastructure, such as increasing hotel room capacity, and simplifying visa procedures. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, tourist arrivals from India are anticipated to surpass pre-pandemic levels. Specific targets haven’t been set, reflecting the significant tourism potential of the Indian market.

With aspirations to welcome more than 1.5 million Indian tourists this year, Singapore is directing its efforts towards bolstering its hospitality infrastructure, including expanding hotel accommodations, while simultaneously streamlining visa processes for visitors. A senior tourism official emphasized this strategy on Wednesday, highlighting Singapore’s commitment to providing seamless and convenient travel experiences for Indian visitors. Prior to the pandemic-induced lockdown, Singapore had seen a peak of 1.4 million Indian tourists in 2019, which gradually recovered to 1.1 million by 2023.

In 2024, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) anticipates surpassing the visitor numbers recorded in 2019. While not specifying a target figure, STB acknowledges the significant tourism potential of the Indian market and aims to capitalize on it, with projections potentially exceeding 1.5 million visitors.

Poh Chi Chuan, Executive Director of Exhibition & Conference at the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), informed PTI that with offices in Mumbai, Delhi, and Chennai, STB is actively pursuing streamlined visa processes for Indian tourists.

The island nation is expanding its infrastructure to accommodate both tourists and business travelers, with plans to add 9,000 new hotel rooms to the current inventory of approximately 72,000 rooms.

“We require guests to occupy these rooms,” emphasized Poh, expressing his desire for flights between India and Singapore to return to pre-pandemic levels.

Poh mentioned at a press conference that with the introduction of new carriers in India and their eventual commencement of international flights, there would be a surge in tourist numbers.

A press conference convened to unveil the first-ever APAC edition of the prestigious National Retail Federation (NRF) Retail Big Show, scheduled to take place from June 11 to 13. This event follows six months after NRF 2024: Retail’s Big Show in New York City.

Singapore isn’t only considering tourist influx from India but also business travelers, acknowledging the burgeoning trade and the thriving Indian economy, he noted.

“Poh emphasized the significance of the pharmaceutical, biomedical, IT, and FinTech sectors in bolstering bilateral trade for Singapore. She highlighted Singapore’s robust hosting of expansive exhibitions and conferences focused on these industries, showcasing cutting-edge technologies.”

Ryf Quail, managing director of the global retail event annually held in New York, anticipates that the APAC edition of NRF will attract between five to ten percent of its 5,000 participants for the Singapore show in June.

Key figures speaking at the large assembly comprise Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO of the Retailers Association of India; Shireesh Joshi, Chief Business Officer of The Open Network for Digital Commerce; and Mathsy Kutty, APAC Leader of The Climate Pledge at Amazon.

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