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44 / ConferenCe & Meetings World / issUe 67SingaporeThe destination boasts a low crime rate and high hotel cccupancy rate of over 85 per cent. In 2010, Singapore attracted 3.1m business travellers (27 per cent of total visitor numbers). This group spent S$5.4 billion (US$4.32bn), a sum representing a growth in revenues of nearly 20 per cent over 2009. The 2011 visitor figures are pending, but the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) expects the business tourism and MICE segment to at least maintain its share of visitor arrivals.BaywatchJanuary saw the opening of Singapore's Bayfront MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) station, which now plugs Marina Bay Sands resort and its Sands Expo and Convention Center into the city's most convenient mode of transport network. The hope is that the new station will bring more traffic to upcoming MICE events. Mike Lee, Vice-President of Sales Marina Bay Sands, the largest hotel in Singapore, says his venue and the Sands Expo and Convention Center collectively have sealed over 2,740 event deals, bringing over 1.1m visitors to the venues in recent years.Event highlights at the venues in the first quarter of 2012 include the Airline Retail Conference, which came to Singapore for the first time, attracting over 1,000 visitors; the SAP Conference (2,000 attendees) and The Young Presidents Organisation Global Leadership Summit (2,000 young delegates).Other successful events from the last year include CommunicAsia 2011 and the World Orchid Conference (held in the MBS ballroom)."Our largest sit-down dinner took place last November," Lee notes. "A record-breaking 5,000 guests were served an eight-course menu in our Grand Ballroom which is fully booked for a substantial part of 2012."Halls of the largest hotel in Singapore have been transformed into art galleries, fashion runways, concert halls, sporting arenas and for the recent 20th World Orchid Conference, a lush botanical garden of orchids.The integrated resort model, according to Lee, combines the best of MICE facilities with luxury accommodation, world-class entertainment, shopping and dining, all in the heart of town. Other on-property venues at MBS include Sands SkyPark, ArtScience Museum and several theatres.Suntec still shiningOver at the Suntec International Convention and Exhibition Centre, 2011 was a record year, with 1,600 events delivered and 7.1m guests welcomed, a five per cent increase in events and a four per cent increase in visitors compared to 2010. Major events included the Million Dollar Roundtable (MDRT) Asia experience 2011; Singapore International Energy Week 2011; ITB Asia 2011; TFWA Asia Pacific 2011; the 11th World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention and the 10th Asia Pacific Congress of Endoscopic Surgery. Suntec Chief Executive Pieter Idenburg says 2012 will be an exciting time for the venue as it embarks on a S$180m modernisation programme. Work is set to start in October when the venue will close for a few months of makeover. The redesign of the 15-year-old venue will see the integration of advanced technology, installation of a two-storey interactive digital wall (the world's largest) and a modernised facade. Suntec Chief Commercial Officer Ong Wee Min notes an increasing trend towards convergence between pure content and pure business elements. "There is an increasing number of smaller, niche 'convex' Above: Mike lee and ong Wee MinEvent visitors and delegates to have attended Sands Expo1.1m

Business is Pleasure Advanced technologies will never replace face-to-face interactions, a handshake, a conversation or an idea shared. And there's no better place to share ideas than at Marina Bay Sands®, Asia's largest and most flexible meeting and convention space. Pulsating with life day and night, Marina Bay Sands offers sensational experiences from the culinary wizardry of "Asia's Dining Destination", the most coveted brands of The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands®, Broadway musical WICKED®, the iconic ArtScience Museum and ultra slick nightclubs Avalon and Pangaea. Awarded Asia's Best MICE Hotel by CEI Asia for two consecutive years, Marina Bay Sands combines decades of Las Vegas Sands experience with its own brand of personal touch - global in scope, intimate in detail. It's never business as usual, it's business done right. to book your marina bay sands experience10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018956 | +65 6688 3000 | UKSales@MarinaBaySands.com | marinabaysands.com