Thanks to an increase in direct flight connections and destination awareness, the US is gaining traction among Singaporean business travellers.
In October last year, New York City‚Äôs official destination marketing organisation, NYC & Company, set up shop in Singapore ‚Äď a move that has helped bring the US onto the radar of MICE organisers here, remarked James Wong, sales & marketing manager (MICE), Farmosa Holiday Tour.
He explained: ‚ÄúThe US has been quiet for the past few years, but now with NYC & Company‚Äôs office in Singapore, at least the we can learn more about the new things New York City has to offer, and have someone to approach if we have questions.‚ÄĚ
Vivian Lee, general manager of Euro-Asia Holidays, observed that the Singapore market has held a perception of the US as an inaccessible and expensive destination.
Now, with the growing roster of flight connections to the US, Euro-Asia Holidays can now offer a diverse range of airline options such as Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Emirates, she said.
However, she added that corporate groups are still slow to warm up to US travel, which can be costly especially involving headcount in the hundreds.
‚ÄúIf tourism organisations like NYC & Company can come to us with more incentives, exclusive (benefits) or value-added services for corporate groups, it would definitely help,‚ÄĚ said Lee.
Wong said that more time is needed for the US to grow onto the corporate market, as well as more activities and places of interest that can be incorporated into meeting, incentive or bleisure itineraries.
Makiko Matsuda Healy, managing director, tourism market development, NYC & Company, shared that there is currently a convention development team in the city that can help MICE organisers with tasks such as site inspections, as well as MICE agents to pitch New York City to the client.
This week, NYC & Company embarked on its first South-east Asia trade mission, making stops in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Manila, where the organisation will conduct training and networking sessions between travel agents and NYC & Company partners, namely Hudson Yards, The Museum of Modern Art, Tour America and Wyndham Garden Brooklyn Sunset Park Hotel New York.