Why should Indians look forward to having a wedding in Singapore?
We are organising this event ‘Singapore Reimagine: Wedding Destination Conversation’ in Mumbai and in Delhi. The objective is to reintroduce Singapore as a wedding destination to the Indian audience. When I say re-introduce, it is to say that Indian weddings have already been happening in Singapore. Pre-Covid, we had a few weddings happening in Sentosa and on the mainland of Singapore. Post-Covid we got very busy with a lot of very urgent recovery efforts. So going after leisure travel, family travel, young Indians, bringing back the MICE business, meetings and incentives and cruise travel. In February 2023, we are starting to re-introduce Singapore as a wedding destination. The proposition is very simple. Singapore offers a very interesting and exciting array of wedding experiences. Today we have with us six Singapore stakeholders. We have Sentosa, Gardens by the Bay, Changi Airport Group and Singapore Airlines. Collectively, what we are signalling is that Singapore is ready to put together and piece together interesting proposals for the wedding planners and their clients.
What is the USP that Singapore offers as a wedding destination?
Several factors make Singapore a compelling, top-of-mind choice destination for the general Indian consumer which is also applicable to the wedding space. Today for the wedding space, convenience, accessibility, hassle-free management and coordination and of course memorable experiences are important factors. Firstly, the convenience of going to Singapore and the connectivity is very high. Today we have got 16 direct connections to Singapore from India. Very soon they will be 17 once Bhubaneswar is connected directly to Singapore. Air connectivity is no issue. Singapore is also a major aviation hub. Also, for Indian weddings, Indians are not only from India but come from a diaspora of Indians. Singapore has got a huge diaspora of Indians also. The convenience of coming to Singapore and the connectivity is a huge plus point. The hassle-free way of management in Singapore is the third point. Singapore is very well-known for its effectiveness in organising events and activities. We are Asia’s biggest MICE destination so we have a lot of experience in holding events and organising. Finally, the memorable experience. We have also received this feedback from a lot of wedding planners as well that Singapore offers a very natural setting for weddings. We have got the convenience and excitement of a city, we are a modern metropolis, a first-world city but at the same time, we are a city in a garden. There are a lot of gardens, flora and a lot of greenery which makes everybody happy. Singapore is an island, so there are a lot of beaches everywhere and you see water everywhere. Singapore is a very instagrammable, photogenic place. One other element someone recently told me is that Singapore is a very lucky place to get married in. Looking at Singapore as a whole, there is this sense of energy, and positivity about the place. You are constantly evolving and moving. A lot of Singaporeans believe in Feng Shui and a lot of Indians believe in Vastu so as a happy marriage of Feng Shui and Vastu, Singapore is indeed a lucky place to be married.
Are there any marketing strategies that you are planning to promote Singapore as a wedding destination?
We are going the engagement route so that people know. We are having conversations with wedding planners. We will have marketing outreach to let people know that Singapore is open to welcoming Indian weddings so that will come in the form of joint marketing promotions with leading brands, wedding fashion shoots in Singapore etc. We are trying to discuss and decide how Singapore tourism can facilitate an array of experiences with Singapore stakeholders. How can we help wedding planners organise weddings in a very seamless and hassle-free manner? Together with the Singapore stakeholders, we are trying to see what form of support we can give. It is a work in progress and we hope that at some point in time, we will be able to announce some form of support that will make Singapore even more competitively priced.
What is the special factor that Singapore has to offer over its competitors?
There are a couple of trends emerging in the wedding space in India. One trend is that the couples are themselves deciding where they want to get married, whom they want to invite and what kind of wedding they want to have. Some of these discerning young couples want an easy-to-get-to city which is very convenient so they want a city wedding. Viewing that space, Singapore is among one of the best cities to get married in because it is so scenic, convenient and picturesque. Secondly, when families are planning a wedding, they are increasingly looking at new destinations. There are already well-established wedding destinations for the Indian market. I believe that Singapore is the next big new exciting wedding destination. Singapore is now pitching seriously as a wedding destination. Finally, we are looking at the wedding space which is pre and post-wedding. Pre-wedding photo shoots can take place there. Post-wedding Singapore is a fascinating place for a honeymoon. In the whole wedding place, there are a lot of reasonable and exciting offerings that Singapore has to offer.