by Andrea Doyle | January 24, 2017
Offering an unparalleled travel experience, Singapore boasts a rich history, a convergence of three distinct cultures -- Chinese, Malay, and Indian -- and forward-thinking and welcoming people in an ultramodern backdrop.

"Singapore is a great destination with access from around the globe. The weather is always warm, the Singaporean culture is interesting, the food is amazing, English is widely used, and the Singapore dollar is affordable," says Dee Kelly, senior project director of cievents, a global strategic event management agency for the corporate market based in North Sydney, Australia. "Singapore has changed a great deal in recent years and it is now a sleek, world-class city with a lot to do."

Flight Centre Travel Group, a global travel company, experienced Singapore first-hand when it held its annual Global Gathering -- that cievents helped plan -- for the top 20 percent of its team last summer. Coming from all over the world, 3,400 attended the gathering, "Fast & the Furious: Experience the Extraordinary," inspired by the Formula 1 Grand Prix race held in the Lion City every year.

Gardens by the Bay, part of the city-state's redevelopment and new downtown area at Marina Bay, was the site of the welcome-night festivities, with a canopy of artificial trees up to 164 feet high towering above. These "supertrees" are actually vertical gardens that generate solar power for Gardens by the Bay, which also houses the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome climate-controlled biomes.

Gardens by the Bay is connected by walkway to Marina Bay Sands, a spectacle in itself, with three hotel towers holding 2,561 luxury rooms and suites, crowned by Sands SkyPark, a tropical oasis of lush gardens, and the world's largest and highest outdoor infinity pool.

The Flight Centre group was based in Marina Bay Sands, and events were held in its Sands Expo and Convention Centre, the largest meeting venue in Singapore, with more than 1.3 million square feet of space.

"Marina Bay Sands is enormous and fit our whole group," says Kelly. "The rooms are stunning, the bars and restaurants very slick, the meeting space broad, and the pool area is one-of-a-kind."

The Singapore Tourism Board has extended its In Singapore Incentives & Rewards (INSPIRE) program to include groups from Europe and North America in addition to China and India. Created with Singapore Airlines and Changi Airport Group, the program offers cocktail experiences and thematic business tours as well as attractive group airfares. In addition, groups receive complimentary airfare for every $37,000 spent.

Eligible corporate incentive groups can choose from 12 complimentary activities that include six cocktail experiences hosted in historic venues or rooftop bars helmed by rising Singapore mixologists, and six themed tours focused on the story of Singapore and its multi-racial and multicultural society.   
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This article appears in the January/February 2017 issue of Incentive.