By Emma Procter
The Singapore Tourism Board has set an ambitious target of AED 40 billion (US $11 billion) tourism receipts and 10.8 Million visitor arrivals in 2008.
Singapore is preparing to cash in on the escalating economic boom in Asia by investing heavily in both its leisure and business travel industry - both on land and sea.
A new international cruise terminal at Singapore's Marina South has been slated for 2010 and has meant a surge in the number of international cruise companies using the country as a homeport for their ships within Asia.
The new terminal will ensure Singapore has the right facilities to attract a new generation of larger cruise ships and means it can become a major cruise hub.
The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) signaled its intentions recently by announcing an ambitious 2008 target of nearly AED 40 billion (US $11billion) in tourism receipts and 10.8 million visitor arrivals.
"STB is building on the momentum of its great success in 2007 to drive even more impressive tourism results for 2008. Given Singapore's strong line-up of events and activities this year, we are very confident that we will be able to raise the bar and reach these aggressive new goals," said Jason Ong, STB's area director, Middle East and Africa.
The hotel sector is also responding to the boom and 12,000 more hotel rooms are expected in the country within the next three to four years.
On the MICE front, major players including Kellen Company, Leipziger Messe GmbH, and Kenes International have chosen to set up base in Singapore, boosting Singapore's position as a major venue for business events.
It is hoped the presence of these companies will create greater opportunities for local industry players to acquire new capabilities, diversify the channels to reach the international market and raise the professionalism of Singapore's MICE industry.