Be it the first, second, third or eventh time for Filipinos to visit Singapore, there will always be something new for them to experience. This is what two Singaporean professionals working in the Philippines proudly guaranteed The Manila Times when asked why locals should travel to their country.
Echoed by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), as well as the island country’s carrier Singapore Airlines, let us find out the many new reasons to visit the famed Lion City of Asia.
For Adrian Kong, area director of STB in the Philippines, 2015 is actually the best time to visit Singapore for the first time or once again as the country is celebrating its 50th National Day.
In December 2014, Kong introduced the exciting events lined up for the celebration in August, as well as other activities throughout the year at an exclusive media luncheon at One Way Restaurant in Makati City.
“There will be a lot of private and public sectors collaborating to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Singapore. The National Day on August 9 will happen at The Padang where independence was declared. There will be parades, fireworks, and cultural performances among many others,” Kong shared.
He also encouraged Filipinos—whether residents, professionals, or visitors—to mark the milestone with Singapore since the Lion City has always been a multi-cultural nation. He even noted that just like Filipinos, Singaporeans also love celebrations.
Besides the National Day, the STB official further shared new and interesting events taking place in Singapore for the first time like the “Singapore: Inside Out” travelling exhibition.
He explained, “Singapore Inside Out, organized by the Singapore Tourism Board and supported by the National Arts Council and the Design Singapore Council, is a pop-out installation featuring fashion, film, architecture, design and food. It travels from Beijing, to London, to New York with a homecoming in Singapore in November. It will have a lot of Singaporean elements as a showcase to the world our achievements in the past 50 years.”
In terms of attractions, Singapore always has something new to offer. “We’ve come out not just with new attractions, but even the current destinations have also revamped themselves,” Kong related.
Some of the must-visits include the Gardens by the Bay, which opened only in 2012, and the River Safari launched in 2014.
Kong ended his presentation by expressing his confidence in the influx of Filipino tourists to Singapore in this landmark year, gratefully noting that the Philippines has always been part of the Top 10 markets of the Lion City.
Building up momentum, SIA, on the other hand, hosted a separate luncheon on Wednesday at the Fairmont Hotel in Makati to launch its new and exciting promotions of discounted fares to Singapore and other destinations around the world.
For only $145, or roughly about P6,000, Filipinos can now fly from Manila, Cebu or Davao to Singapore and back via an all-inclusive fare in Economy Class flights from SIA or SilkAir. The discounted fare includes a 30-kilogram baggage allowance and in-flight gourmet meals with travel period until December this year.
Available for purchase until February, the promo is exclusive to BPI Credit Cardholders, Globe Platinum and Globe Blue subscribers, Glorietta Mall, Ayala Center Cebu and Abreeza Mall Davao shoppers, and KrisFlyer members.
“Among our partners, we all serve a huge customer segment here in the Philippines. This is our way of saying thank you for your support throughout the years,” enthused SIA General Manager for Philippines Carol Ong in an interview with The Manila Times.
Besides Singapore, the promo also offers discounted fares for Southeast Asian countries, India, Australia, Europe, New Zealand and South Africa for both Economy and Business Class.
SIA’s partner in this campaign is the Changi Airport Group. Together, they will be giving away SGD20 vouchers to customers who will avail of the promo at SIA’s simultaneous travel fairs nationwide from February 6 to 8.
In Luzon, the “Singapore Airlines Showcase and Travel Fair” will take place at the Glorietta Mall; in Visayas at Ayala Center Cebu; and in Mindanao at Abreeza Mall Davao.
At the trade show, travelers can not only book flights for the exclusive promo, they can also see firsthand SIA’s Suite Class featured in the A380 plane.
Besides these, Ong also announced another upcoming development for SIA. Come March, the airline will open its first concept lounge in Southeast Asia located at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport 3.
Asked to comment on the booming travel sector, the executive shared that when SIA started 40 years ago in the Philippines, it only had one flight a week. Today, the airline happily runs four flights daily.
Lastly, Ong echoed her colleague, Kong from STB, in sharing why Filipinos should travel to her country.
“Singapore always has something new to offer travelers. There are not only physical attractions but also civic activities, arts and cultural shows, and big festivals, and sporting events. Basically, life is exciting in Singapore,” she concluded.
For more information, log on to www.yoursingapore.com, www. singaporeair.com, or www.silkair.c