Home » Experts & Interviews » Singapore Tourism Board(STB) – Business Development Group, Assistant Chief Executive, Neeta Lachmandas

Singapore Tourism Board(STB) – Business Development Group, Assistant Chief Executive, Neeta Lachmandas

니타 래크만다스(Neeta Lachmandas)는 싱가포르 관광청(Singapore Tourism Board, STB)의 비즈니스 그룹(구 산업개발 그룹 II) 수석 부대표로서, 싱가포르 의 프리미어급 비즈니스·MICE 데스티네이션으로서의 위상 강화, 의료관광 및 민간 교육 분야에서 싱가포르의 점유율 증대, 크루즈 산업 육성 등에 대한 범기관 적 차원의 노력에 관한 책임을 맡고 있다.

니타 부대표는 2008년 3월에 STB에 합류하기 전까지 인사 및 노동 관련 정책, 기술 개발 및 서비스 품질 등의 다양한 분야에서 경력을 쌓아왔다. 현재의 직책을 맡기 전에는 구(舊) 산업개발 그룹 I(Industry Development Group I)의 부참모 직(Assistant Chief Executive)을 맡아 명소, 외식 및 소매업, 예술 및 오락, F1 및 스포츠, 접객 관련 부서의 업무를 전체적으로 총괄하였다.

니타는 20여 년간 레오 버넷 현지법인(Leo Burnett(S) Pte Ltd), 노스웨스트 에 어라인(Northwest Airline Inc.), 싱가포르 미디어 기업(Media Corporation of Singapore) 등의 굴지의 기업에서 마케팅, 커뮤니케이션, 회계 및 사업개발과 관련된 경력을 쌓아왔다. 이 기간 동안 그녀는 사업 개요 구축 및 개발, 신규 고객사 파악 및 목표화, 브랜드 관리, 광고 및 대고객 커뮤니케이션, PR, 행사 관리, 충성도 및 CRM 전략 구축 등에 대한 책임업무를 수행해왔으며, 니타는 싱가포르국립대학에서 법학사를 취득하였다.

 

[GMI] First of all congratulations on your work leading the growth of global MICE Industry. Having been rated as top international meeting destination since 2007 by UIA prove your accomplishments and it seems to be attributed to all your efforts with STB’s policy objectives and strategic functions based on an entire value proposition. In this perspective, please introduce STB with its vision, mission and values to GMI’s readers.

[Neeta] The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) champions the development of Singapore’s tourism sector, which is one of the country’s key service sectors and economic pillars. We undertake the development, regulation and marketing of Singapore as a tourism destination. The Singapore Exhibition and Convention BureauTM(SECB), which is an arm of the STB, focuses on developing and marketing of Singapore as a destination for Meetings, Incentive, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE).

 

[GMI] In respect of operation status and the key performance, would you explain the structure of both budget and organization, as well as the key performance in the field of MICE ?

[Neeta] Travellers coming to Singapore for business and MICE purposes contribute considerably to Singapore’s tourism sector. In 2013, Singapore hosted 3.5 million business visitors, an increase of 3 percent from the same period in 2012.
These visitors spent an estimated S$5.5 billion (excluding sightseeing and entertainment expenditure), contributing to approximately one-third of overall tourism receipts.
The SECB is structured to fulfil four key roles:

  1. Business Events Champion: to create, grow, and attract business events that reinforce Singapore’s reputation as a business and intellectual hub.
  2. Experience Architect: to champion and deliver exceptional experiences for business delegates.
  3. Global Marketer: to drive various marketing and promotional activities in order to entrench Singapore’s position as a premier Business & MICE destination.
  4. Industry Developer: to create and develop strong industry players, robust alliances, world-class infrastructure and an emerging pool of MICE talent.

 

[GMI] In the field of MICE, supply creates its own demand and based on this rule, the overall MICE market has done through growth and development. High demand (the number of international meetings) means that the destination secures the sufficient infrastructure for the amount of demand and from a future growth point of view, continuous efforts to keep supply and demand in balance will be required. Faced with the fast-growing markets and fierce competition between the destinations, especially in the region of Asia, what core competencies and any future plans
does your organization focus on in terms of MICE supply infrastructure ?

[Neeta] In terms of MICE infrastructure, Singapore offers an excellent range of state-of-the-art convention centres, exhibition halls, and meeting venues. In addition, many MICE venues are also in close proximity to a wide range of accommodation, food, shopping, entertainment, and other lifestyle options. Some venues go further in in offering unique experiences for their delegates. For example, venues that integrate MICE facilities together with unique leisure offerings include the S.E.A. AquariumTM, RiverSafari, Gardens by the Bay, ArtScience MuseumTM, Universal Studios Singapore®, and Goodman ArtsCentre to name a few. These make for interesting backdrops for team building activities or learning journeys that may be incorporated with in the meeting programmes, allowing organisers to come up with creative programmes that result in a differentiated delegate experience. Additionally, with more than 150 hotels and over 50,000 rooms, there
is an answer to every budget and preference, from no-frills accommodation to boutique hotels, modern business hotels and luxury beach resorts. This ability to provide unique experiences remains an important attribute that we seek for future
MICE infrastructure in Singapore.

 

[GMI] The primary roles of CVB(or DMO) are to provide stakeholders with the official destination information and to offer support services for bidding and hosting events. In this regard, Asian countries continue to aggressively strengthen their strategic approach and support program. Tell us how STB differentiates program or services for bidding and hosting events and your major target markets.

[Neeta] Singapore strives to provide a conducive and pro-business environment for MICE travellers to achieve their business objectives. As Asia’s economic hub, we are in a good position to deliver regionally-relevant business event content, especially for strategic industry clusters such as biomedical sciences and healthcare, environment and energy, info-comm technology and media, which Singapore is building a competitive advantage in. Additionally, by clustering complementary events around flagship shows, we are able to deliver greater value to delegates. Such an approach allows time-strapped business travellers to optimise their business trips and maximise opportunities across different business events. Examples
include :
1. TravelRave, Asia’s most influential travel trade week, which provides a regional platform to fuel collaboration and growth in the region’s tourism industry. Delegates are able to partake in various conferences and events happening that week in relation to tourism, including Web in Travel, ITB Asia, Aviation Outlook Asia, Hotel Technology Conference and the Hotel Management Summit Singapore.
2. Singapore Design Week which took place from 10 to 16 March 2014 featured local and international design trade shows, conferences, showcases, exhibitions and workshops that spanned various design disciplines.
The SECB extends a comprehensive suite of programs and assistance to support the evolving and varied needs of the event owners. We launched a Singapore MICE Advantage Programme (SMAP) in August 2013, in partnership with Singapore
Airlines (SIA) and Changi Airport Group (CAG), offering a one-stop support with incentives for meeting planners and MICE visitors. Apart from enjoying exclusive airline and airport benefits, meeting planners and visitors can look forward to a more seamless and fulfilling meeting experience in Singapore.
On top of that, to provide an unforgettable business event experience, we offer customized support that may include facilitation in securing venues, introductions with leading government agencies, local associations and business partners as well as marketing and publicity support. Funding support is also given through the Business Events in Singapore(BEiS) scheme on fulfillment of its evaluation criteria and deliverables.

 

[GMI] As Convention & Visitors Bureau, how do you distinguish STB’s marketing program between for MICE planners and for MICE attendees ?

[Neeta] We are constantly focusing on providing the value which MICE delegates look for, be it through thought leadership and high-quality content, key industry events, new and unique venues, as well as leisure offerings and experiences for delegates. For MICE planners, we offer facilitation and customised programs to help them deliver a seamless experience for their delegates.

 

[GMI] It is expected that Singapore will maintain the status of world’s Top MICE destination and implement futureoriented policies to sustain innovative growth. Finally, tell us your thoughts on the future direction of Singapore MICE after 2014 ?

[Neeta] Looking ahead, we will continue in our efforts to attract, create and grow quality business events that complement Singapore’s key emerging economic sectors. We will also help build local associations’ capabilities and work together with them to keep abreast of global meeting trends and best practices. At the same time, as part of our approach to Quality Tourism, STB and several leading industry members have jointly developed MICE2020, a medium-term roadmap to build on Singapore’s strength as a MICE city and to sustain our leadership position in the future.

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