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Singapore’s One Faber Group banking on students to drive growth

Asmita Dey

Singapore-based lifestyle brand One Faber Group that counts India as one of its key markets is planning to expand its customer base from the country by tapping into the vibrant student community.

The group that operates Singapore's only cable car network and owns a clutch of premium leisure properties like the Wings of Time show already hosts Indian families and couples, company executives said.

To strengthen its reach in the country and directly pitch its products to customers, the group has partnered with New Delhi-headquartered ISA Tourism. Through the partnership, One Faber is aiming to stitch alliances with Indian banks, airlines and telecom companies to promote its offerings. The idea behind roping in Indian companies for promotions is to draw more customers to the group's website, said Patrick Lee, director of sales and business development at One Faber Group. At present, most tourists book their packages via travel agents.

"We have found a very strong audience with the Indian market. The two key products that attract maximum interest are cable car and Wings of Time," Lee said. "We sell a lot of packages ourselves and want customers to come to us as a one-stop shop and plan all the holidays on Sentosa."

According to data released by the Singapore Tourism Board, the country registered 1,302,636 visitors from India during January-November 2019. The number stood at 1,442,277 in 2018, a 13.37% rise over 2017. India forms the third-largest tourist market for Singapore after China and Indonesia, data showed.

One Faber Group, an autonomous subsidiary of Sentosa Development Corporation, said of nearly 19 million annual visitors that Sentosa records, Indians top the list (in terms of nationality). Sentosa is an island in Singapore - the Far East Hospitality Group runs three hotels - The Outpost, Village Hotel Sentosa and The Barracks Hotel in the island to cater to a wide group of tourists.

To set itself apart from competitors, Lee said, the firm is working on creating product differentiation. For instance, customers booking tickets for Wings of Time show through travel agents get normal seats while those routing their bookings through the group's website can avail of premium seats, Lee said.

The group has also introduced sky dining (dining inside cable car) to woo couples and honeymooners, especially from India where weddings have traditionally been a grand affair.

"Cable car is a must see in all Indians' itinerary. It is the gateway to Sentosa," Lee said. The group is set to roll out audio-commentary system for cable cars.

(Travel for this report was sponsored by One Faber Group)