The Tata Group signing a memorandum of understanding with Singapore Airlines to provide airline connectivity was expected to be a "game changer in increasing the traffic flow between the two countries," a senior official of Singapore Tourism Board said today.
"It will be a game changer (for Singapore Tourism)," Singapore Tourism Board, Executive Director (South Asia, Middle East and Africa), Chang Chee Pey told reporters here. when sought for his comments about Tatas signing the MoU.
Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata Group signed a memorandum of understanding with Singapore Airlines for the joint venture.
The new venture, to be called Tata SIA Airlines Ltd, would have Tata Sons as the majority partner with 51 per cent stake, while Singapore Airlines would hold 49 per cent stake with USD 49 million of foreign direct investment (FDI).
Elaborating about the airline connectivity between India and Sri Lanka, he said Chennai emerged as a major hub in providing the link between the two countries with as many as 50 flights operating from Chennai to Singapore.
"Hopefully, that (Tatas signing MoU with Singapore Airlines) will increase the traffic flow between the two countries...," he said.
When asked whether the rupee depreciating against the US dollar over the last few months had any impact on the inflow of Indian tourists into his country, Pey replied in the negative saying it continued to be "healthy".
"Things have started to look better now. In the first two months of this year, the inflow of tourists visiting Singapore grew by 10 per cent to 1.30 lakh...," he said.
Even during the last week's Singapore Grand Prix F1, he said there was an increase of 90,000 people visiting the annual event. "The hotel occupancy rates were also healthy...," he said.
According to him, 75 per cent of Indian travellers visit Singapore for leisure, while 25 per cent for business purposes.