Batam to Host Golfing Getaway for Singapore Airlines Pilots, Crew Members

(Photo Courtesy of the Tourism Ministry)
The Ministry of Tourism has invited 100 Singapore Airlines pilots and crew members to test out their golfing skills in Batam, Riau, next week in a move to attract foreign businesses and tourist agencies to country's outlying islands.

The event will take place at the Sukajadi Golf Course and the Palm Springs Golf & Country Club in Nongsa, Batam, on June 6-7, though the Singapore Airlines officials will lodge at the Batam View Beach Resort.

The resort's general manager, Andy Fong, said on Tuesday (30/05) that the challenges to host the golfing expedition during the week will not be easily overcome.
"The challenges have doubled [...] but we will in turn work doubly hard with the event's committee members to pull it off," Andy said.

Officials of Singapore Airlines subsidiary Silk Air are also scheduled to take part in the two-day event.
"For Singaporeans, [Batam] is a paradise. Also, the cost of golfing on the island is far cheaper than it is in Singapore [...] people are friendly here," Andy added.

Pilots and crew members will be entertained by a welcoming dinner on June 6 and will be served lunch at a closing ceremony before returning to Singapore.
Despite high costs, local businesses on Batam stand to gain significant profits, Andy said.
"I have adopted many techniques used by Tourism Minister Arief Yahya. For instance, there will be a lot of cross-selling, a lot of food, beverage and tourism packages on offer," he said.
The resort manager said he decided to spend more on entertainment to attract the Singapore Airlines crew members to lodge at the Batam View Beach Resort.

"Although we will only break even during the event, we plan on selling super-competitive golfing packages. If we satisfy the guests, they will spread the word to their colleagues and friends back home," Andy said.
"We expect Batam to become more popular, more crowded and more affordable in the future."
The Tourism Ministry’s deputy for marketing development, Esthy Reko Astuti, said she appreciates the motivation of Batam's leading businesspeople to bolster the island's image for Singaporean tourists.

"Next week's golfing event has the potential to attract more and more tourists from Singapore and Malaysia. We are working to create the image of Batam as a 'golf heaven,' supported by ancillary facilities and services like top-notch spas, shopping malls and entertainment," Esthy said.
The island will host several golfing events throughout the year, with the Ladies Golf Open Nongsa Batam scheduled for July 16-17, the Nation's Independence Day Celebration Friendly Golf Tournament on Aug. 31 and the Nongsa Cup on Oct. 29-30.

"There is a great opportunity to bolster Batam by penetrating the Singaporean market. Golf is popular among the city-state's elite, and they are high spenders," Esthy added.

Meanwhile, Tourism Minister Arief Yahya praised the recent cross-border tourism attractions in Batam, saying that if "[the Singaporean Airlines guests] are happy, Indonesia will become more connected to the region." (JakartaGlobe)

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