With its strong international appeal, strategic location and access to key Asian markets, Singapore is one of Asia’s most popular destinations for business events.
In June 2014, the island was named the Top International Meeting Country for the third year running and Top International Meeting City for a seventh consecutive year in the Union of International Associations (UIA) 2013 Global Rankings. Singapore was also named Asia’s Top Convention City by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) for the 12th consecutive year. Singapore’s record of 175 eligible events in 2013 was a 16.7 per cent increase from 150 in 2012, the strongest year-on-year growth since 2005.
With Asian travellers projected to account for at least 50 per cent of global tourism and travel expenditure by 2020, part of Singapore’s appeal is its location. Singapore is within a seven hour flight radius of half the world’s population, and is considered Asia’s most competitive tourism and aviation hub by the World Economic Forum.
Changi Airport is currently the seventh busiest international airport in the world, serving 110 airlines flying to 240 cities in 60 countries and territories worldwide. The island is also home to the head offices of a wide range of multinational travel companies as well as small and medium enterprises.
Australia is currently Singapore’s fourth biggest source market, after Indonesia, China and Malaysia, with 1,125,000 Australian travellers making the journey in 2013.
English, Malay, Tamil, Standard Mandarin
Singapore’s Changi Airport is less than a nine hour flight from Sydney and six hours from Perth, with airlines including Singapore Airlines, Qantas, Scoot, Jetstar, Emirates, Etihad Airways, SilkAir and British Airways offering direct flights.
Singapore’s world class Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system is a simple and quick option for travel from Changi Airport into the city’s CBD, or around the city itself, running from 6am to midnight. Buses also travel to almost every part of the island on a regular basis. EZ-link cards, which can be used on both the MRT and buses, can be bought from MRT stations. Taxis are also readily available.
For more transfer options, please contact the Singapore Tourism Board.
Singapore has any number of activities which groups can get involved with as part of giving back to the community, with details available on YourSingapore.com/mice. Options range from Dining behind Bars, which sees guests spend time with prisoners and sample their culinary talents, to sustainable farming initiatives and spending time interacting with underprivileged children or seniors. Contact the Singapore Tourism Board for assistance customising an event to suit the needs of your group.
Singapore has a tropical climate so the island is warm and humid all year round, with temperatures ranging between 23-31C. Rain falls throughout the year but intensifies during the monsoon season (November to January). Peak season for travel to Singapore is between December and June.
Most visitors to Singapore don’t require a visa for entry; however, it is best to consult your local consular office for the latest information with regard to entering Singapore. People travelling on an Australian passport are not required to have an Entry Visa to enter Singapore, however they must have the following: at least six months’ validity on their passport from the intended date of arrival in Singapore, sufficient funds to last for the intended period of stay in Singapore, and a confirmed onward/return ticket.
1st January: New Year’s Day
19-20 February: Chinese New Year
3 April: Good Friday
1 May: Labour Day
1 June: Vesak Day
17 July: Hari Raya Puasa
9 August: National Day
10 August: National Day (replacement day)
24 September: Hari Raya Jaji
10 November: Deepavali
25th December: Christmas Day
Whether you’re looking for structured activities or simply putting together some pointers for delegates’ downtime, Singapore has any number of options to suit all tastes and budgets. Options include:
One of the top shopping streets in the world, Orchard Road is home to high fashion and mass-market retailers, as well as top-notch dining and bars.
Home to luxury hotels, exclusive night spots, fine dining destinations and world class theatre venues, the waterfront promenade also offers some of the most breathtaking views of Singapore.
A 500-hectare island resort located 15 minutes away from Singapore’s CBD, Sentosa is home to Resorts World Sentosa, voted the best integrated resort in Asia. Attractions include Universal Studios Singapore, S.E.A Aquarium and Adventure Cove Waterpark.
Singapore’s ethnic enclaves, Chinatown, Little India, Kampong Glam and Joo Chiat, are home to rich customs and traditions and offer the intrepid explorer a feast of new experiences. Here heritage brands, merchant stores, temples and mosques vie for space with new businesses such as designer outlets, boutique hotels, bars and cafés.
Enjoy a night out at any one of the trio of quays along the Singapore River: Robertson Quay, famous for its mix of bars, performing arts houses and art Galleries; Clarke Quay, which comes alive at night with an array of restaurants, jazz clubs and more; and Boat Quay, offering an eclectic mix of high end restaurants, alfresco dining and lively bars and pubs.
Tiger Brewery Tour
The Tiger Brewery Tour in Singapore is a fun and interactive experience for those who visit the home of Tiger Beer. Learn about the history of the iconic brew, as well as see firsthand the brewing process.
Nature fans will love this aerial course through the lush greenery of Bedok Reservoir Park. With 50 obstacles including ladders, bridges, swings, nets, trapezes and giant zip lines, the Forest Adventure experience will leave you buzzing.
Enjoy an authentic culinary experience in a Singapore home. You can learn the secrets of Asian cooking in a warm and relaxing setting. Cookery Magic has been recommended by Lonely Planet and Singapore City Scoops as one of the things to do in Singapore.
Kim Choo’s Kitchen
One of Singapore’s most renowned restaurants, Kim Choo serves authentic Peranakan cuisine, while showcasing Peranakan heritage. The restaurant has an excellent collection of Peranakan antiques, including one of the largest Peranakan porcelain plate collections in Singapore.
More inspiration for delegates for downtime activities can be found on the Your Singapore website.
Singapore has a wide range of state-of-the-art, purpose built convention and exhibition centres suitable for events of all sizes. Larger venues include:
Changi Exhibition Centre
Located near Changi Airport, the Changi Exhibition Centre’s versatile facilities offer the flexibility to host both large-scale outdoor and indoor events. Set against the backdrop of Singapore’s idyllic eastern shore, the Centre offers attendees a panoramic view of the seafront, just 20 minutes from the CBD.
Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre
Situated within the Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort complex, the Sands Expo & Convention Centre stands at the heart of Singapore’s CBD, overlooking picturesque Marina Bay. Its central location presents attendees with easy access to some of Singapore’s finest dining, shopping and entertainment options. Integrated within the venue are 2561 hotel rooms.
Resorts World Convention Centre
Located in the sprawling Resorts World Sentosa Integrated Resort complex, the Resorts World Convention Centre has capacity for 6500 and direct access to 1500 rooms across six prestigious hotels. Its enviable location on Singapore’s southern resort island places attendees in close proximity to Universal Studios Singapore, the world’s largest aquarium, and a wide range of other leisure activities, all only 15 minutes from the CBD.
By far Singapore’s largest purpose-built business events venue, Singapore EXPO’s proximity to Changi Airport and the Changi Business Park makes it ideal for large events with high numbers of international visitors. Just under 15 minutes from the city centre, it boasts two hotels providing more than 500 rooms and is a short walk from Changi City Point shopping mall. The adjoining MAX Atria convention centre provides dynamic spaces to support a range of events, from conferences, meetings and product launches, to banquets and cocktail receptions.
Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre
The recently refurbished Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre has direct access to 5200 hotel rooms, 1000 retail outlets, 300 restaurants, six museums and the city’s premier performing arts theatre, Esplanade by the Bay. Less than 10 minutes from Orchard Road, Singapore’s world-famous shopping boulevard, it places attendees within easy reach of all that the city has to offer.
For smaller meetings try:
Floating Pods at the Fullerton Bay Hotel
Built on the water in the harbour of The Fullerton Bay Hotel, the three floating pods are reminiscent of trading boats docked in a modern day setting. Equipped with an adjoining balcony and rooftop, pods feature sweeping views of Marina Bay’s glistening waters and can hold up to 40 guests.
Singapore Flyer Capsule
Take your meetings to the sky in a private Singapore Flyer capsule. With 360˚ views of Singapore, guests will be inspired by this unusual backdrop. Holding up to 28 guests with a private host and custom decorations on request, the capsule provides an intimate, unique and private space.
The city is constantly reinventing its business events offerings, with new offering such as Gardens by the Bay, Marine Bay Cruise Centre Singapore and River Safari providing one-off options for memorable events delegates will be talking about for years. Some examples include:
Gardens by the Bay
Spanning 101 hectares, Gardens by the Bay brings the world of plants to Singapore while capturing the essence of Singapore as the premier tropical City in a Garden. Gardens by the Bay’s Jubilee Hall, which is housed within the Flower Dome in a Mediterranean garden setting, is an indoor event space which looks out to Marina Bay waterfront. Another option is the Supertree Grove, a unique outdoor location set within 12 towering Supertrees. In the evening the Supertrees come to life with a spectacular light and sound show, making this area an ideal place for cocktails, dinners and product launches. Guests can even choose to take a stroll on the aerial walkway for a panoramic view of the Gardens.
Marine Bay Cruise Centre Singapore
The 28,000sqm Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore can handle up to 6800 passengers at any one time, allowing Singapore to cater to the world’s largest cruise ships. On non-cruise days, the terminal itself is a great off-site venue. Ideally located near Singapore’s lifestyle and financial hub with a breathtaking view of the ocean, the Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore has more than 11,500sqm of space suited to a wide range of events, from big corporate event or exclusive intimate gatherings.
Marine Life Park
Marine Life Park is the newest attraction opening for integrated resort Resorts World Sentosa. From sit-down dinners to strolling receptions, Marine Life Park offers a number of exciting venue options within its two components: S.E.A. Aquarium – home to more than 800 species of marine animals, and Adventure Cove Waterpark – where delegates can build team spirit amidst heart-pumping thrill rides, refreshing pools and Southeast Asia’s first hydromagnetic coaster.
River Safari, which opened 2013, is Asia’s first freshwater-themed wildlife attraction. The key focus of the 12-hectare site is to bring visitors up close to freshwater ecosystems and the related life forms. It is hoped that close animal encounters will inspire visitors to care and take positive actions in the preservation of these threatened habitats, on which our survival depends.
National Art Gallery
The National Art Gallery will be Singapore’s largest permanent display of local art when it opens in October 2015. It will be the only art gallery in the world that reflects on the special qualities of Southeast Asian and Singapore art. It promises to offer new exhibitions that will tell innovative stories on Southeast Asia and Singapore art in the global context.
For more information visit the Your Singapore website.
Singapore recently released a set of Sustainability Guidelines, available from the Your Singapore website, to serve as a reference guide for business events industry organisers and suppliers in Singapore. The guidelines, which complement the various green practices, policies and programmes already in place for hotels and other buildings in Singapore, cover seven industry categories from across the business events ecosystem, including hotels, venues, event organisers and meeting planners, transportation, food and beverage, as well as audio-visual set-up. Areas covered under the guidelines include advice on waste management and the efficient use of water and energy, as well as initiatives that encourage employees to develop a commitment to sustainable practices.
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A travel manager,
“I travel through Singapore at least twice every year and usually get off the plane jump in a cab and spend two nights in a hotel. The experience you gave us in Singapore with the EZ-Link card and the well-thought out program brought Singapore back to life for me. I had forgotten about Arab Street; how easy it is to get around on the train; and the hospitality and friendliness of the locals willing to help us. I use this experience regularly now to encourage clients to get out and about.”
Caroline Cox, personal travel manager
A travel manager,
“Singapore was great. I felt safe being there by myself even though I wasn’t staying at the conference hotel. It was just so vibrant, with so much to do! I recently had clients who were looking for a short getaway in January, and I suggested Singapore, and they are off there for six nights. Thanks again for reintroducing me to a city I hadn’t been to for more than 30 years.”
Kirra Moon-Curry, personal travel manager
Area Director | Oceanial Singapore Tourism Board
T: +61 2 9290 2888
Office: Level 11, AWA Building, 47 York Street, Sydney NSW 2000