YANGON—The third edition of the Singapore Festival will run from Nov. 30-Dec. 2 on Bogalay Zay Street in downtown Yangon, with many exciting new activities added this year.
The three-day event organized by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) aims to allow Yangonites to experience the riches of Singapore’s culture through food, urban design, art, music and film, said John Gregory Conceicao, executive director of STB’s International Group.
He added, “This annual event is a celebration of Singapore’s close friendship with Myanmar. We plan to offer consumers a much more interactive and personal experience of Singapore’s ‘Passion Made Possible’ destination brand at this year’s festival.”
The Singapore Festival has been held in Yangon annually since 2016. For the past two years, the event was used by airlines and travel agents to sell travel packages at special prices.
“This time we want to do something different from the past two years. Air ticket promotions and travel packages will be available online only. We would like to do new experimental things and wanted to showcase our street foods. I think Myanmar people are already familiar with some Singapore dishes. Some Singapore street foods and Myanmar street foods are quite similar and people can try both at the festival,” he said at a press event last Thursday.
STB is worked along with local partner Doh Eain and more than 18 Myanmar partners to ensure that the festival continues to be relevant and meaningful to Myanmar people, he said.
“We needed to ask for a permit from Yangon authorities to hold the event on Bogalay Zay Street. Doh Eain is already familiar with Yangon authorities’ processes. This is the first time, and we have had good collaboration with Yangon’s authorities; we never done this before. I think this is groundbreaking for us to do something like this in Yangon,” Conceicao explained.
He added that, “We want to create awareness in Myanmar about visiting Singapore. To attract Myanmar people to visit the Singapore is our job, but the most important thing is to build people-to-people connectivity.”
During the three-day event, visitors will get to enjoy an exciting array of activities including films, a 500-kyat street-food fair, a Singapore art showcase and installations, a children’s workshop and play zone, and others.
“Singapore Festival 2018 is designed in Myanmar, with Myanmar and for Myanmar. The various activities showcase the essence of ‘Passion Made Possible’, inspire the public to pursue their dreams, and provide Myanmar consumers an experiential taste of Singapore,” Conceicao explained.
According to him, more than 146,000 Myanmar travelers visited Singapore last year, up 28 percent compared with 2016.
“In the first half of 2018, 74,000 Myanmar travelers visited Singapore, and travel season in Myanmar is just starting now. So, we hope to see more travelers in the second half of this year,” he said.
Most of the visitors from Myanmar are family leisure travelers and business travelers, he added.
“Singapore has many things to do for the family and kids. So, family leisure travelers are our top visitors. Also, groups of young Myanmar people visit Singapore to explore the nightlife and parties,” he said.
At the festival’s main event, visitors can experience Singapore’s very own annual “50 Cents Fest”, the “500 Kyat Food Fair”, a diverse range of Singapore and Myanmar traditional and contemporary flavors across 20 street food stalls for 500 kyats per dish.
Visitors also have the opportunity to experience popular Singapore attractions such as Sentosa Island, Gardens by the Bay, Resorts World Sentosa, and Wildlife Reserves Singapore through interactive stations.
“Through Singapore Festival 2018, we hope that Myanmar people will build a deeper connection with Singapore not just as a holiday destination, but also a place where they can come and discover, fulfill and rekindle their passions,” Conceicao said.