Fiona Loi, new area director for Indochina of STB, told reporters in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) last week that she would work to further promote Singapore as a destination for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) guests as well as leisure travelers from Vietnam.
She is here in preparation to replace Ong Jin Chwen as area director of STB for Indochina from December 1.
According to Loi and Ong, Singapore has world-class facilities to serve Vietnamese companies and to enable them set up and expand their network with global businesses at the various business events and seminars taking place in that country.
Loi said Singapore had maintained its leading position in the area of business meetings and events, because the country was named in August 2010 as the “Top International Meetings City” title in the prestigious Union of International Associations (UIA) 2009 Global Rankings for the third consecutive year.
STB estimated some 160 association conferences in Singapore from September 2010 to 2016 would attract an expected attendance of more than 170,000 international delegates and participants.
Ong said some 5,000 multinational corporations had their representative offices and headquarters in Singapore so the island country was well suited to build a bridge between Vietnamese companies and their regional and global counterparts.
In her role as the area director of STB for Indochina, Loi is responsible for the STB’s operations, marketing and promotional activities across Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. She will also focus on strengthening Singapore’s appeal as a destination to Vietnamese visitors, not only for leisure but also for healthcare and education purposes.
Loi will also facilitate bilateral relations and cooperation between Vietnam travel and Singapore travel, including cruise tourism, in which STB can help bring together the sharing of expertise by Singapore businesses and investors with Vietnamese officials and businesses.
Geraldine Yeo, ASEAN regional director of STB, told the Daily that 2010 was a good year for STB in Vietnam as the January-September period saw the number of Vietnamese visitors to that country grew by 23.6% year-on-year to more than 250,000. This made Vietnam one of the fastest growing markets of visitors for Singapore.
Over the past years, Vietnam has been listed as one of Singapore’s top key tourism markets. Yeo said Vietnamese visitors to Singapore in 2009 rose by around 10.9% over 2008 to exceed 265,000, and that Vietnam was Singapore’s thirteenth market in terms of the number of visitors last year.
“Vietnam still continues to give us very health growth in the number of visitors, and actually over the last few years, the growth has been double-digit. Even last year, the world was in recession, but to me Vietnam was one of the very few markets that showed positive and double-digit growth,” Yeo said.
Yeo told the Daily that the growth momentum had been sustained this year because Singapore had new products and destination brands for the Vietnamese consumer to come and enjoy.
Loi said, “Vietnam is a key market of visitors for Singapore, with arrivals growing at a healthy rate in recent years. I look forward to sharing Singapore with more Vietnamese consumers.”