Towards the future, hand-in-hand

Exclusive interview: Mike Lee, Vice President of Sales, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

ITB Asia has a fruitful ongoing relationship with the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. We asked Mike Lee, Vice President of Sales, Marina Bay Sands what the main aspects are from his side that add value to the show.

ITB Asia is a valued partner of Marina Bay Sands, with a collaborative partnership between both teams that has enabled us to continue providing customised solutions for each edition of ITB Asia that meet both the organiser’s and delegates’ objectives. The versatility of our spaces at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre provides ITB Asia with the exibility to reconfigure the show floor each year to meet the expanding needs of the show. The alternative unique venues that we offer on the property also provide delegates and trade visitors with the intimate spaces to connect and facilitate peer-to- peer engagements. We are deeply committed to elevating the show experience for the next three years and providing an unforgettable experience for our guests.


What’s new this year and heading into the near future?

In 2019, we welcomed three new lifestyle and entertainment concepts, MARQUEE, AVENUE and KOMA as part of our ongoing collaboration with TAO Group. Beyond the interesting F&B openings this year, we are proud to be recognised for our business excellence and innovative use of technology to boost productivity and improve guest experiences. The integrated resort (Hotel, MICE, F&B) was recently conferred the 2019 Singapore Quality Award (SQA) and we are also the first hospitality business to be awarded the SQA after more than 10 years. Marina Bay Sands will be celebrating its 10th year anniversary in 2020. Early next year, we will welcome Hong Kong’s multi-award winning contemporary Chinese restaurant, Mott 32 to Marina Bay Sands. In addition, Michelin-starred Waku Ghin is currently undergoing extensive renovations, with an opening slated for early 2020. Looking ahead into the next few years, visitors can look forward to the addition of an all- suite fourth hotel tower; a 15,000- seat entertainment arena as well as additional MICE space and capabilities. The new arena will serve a dual purpose. With its size and amenities, it is also suitable for MICE groups to host big plenary sessions and large conference groups. More details will be shared in due course.

How important is sustainability as part of your message, and what is being done to move even further in this direction?

Marina Bay Sands has become well known for integrating sustainability into our operations. Every decision we make is guided and fully supported by our global sustainability strategy, Sands ECO360. It is designed to help us minimise our environmental impact as an integrated resort. Marina Bay Sands is also committed to responsible sourcing in our purchase of materials ranging from fish and seafood, to paper products. The company is guided by a sustainable purchasing policy which encourages vendors to provide solutions, materials, and goods that are environmentally- friendly.

The company-wide emphasis on making our operations sustainable has won us many accolades in the industry. In fact, Sands Expo and Convention Centre achieved the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum, a global system of sustainability recognition in June this year. This makes us the first MICE venue in Asia Pacific to attain this certification. It tells industry players and our clients that any event they host at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre is highly sustainable. Ultimately, it gives clients confidence in our ability to curate events that are environmentally-friendly and memorable to begin with.

Continuous education and engagement is important when it comes to sustainability. Through our Sands ECO360 green meetings programme, we not only provide Green Meeting Advisory Services, but the team also works closely with meeting planners to customise their sustainable events. Clients can choose from the Harvest Menu or Healthier Menu options, certified by Singapore Health Promotion Board, a government body, which offer fresh and high-quality ingredients that are locally and regionally sourced and prepared through healthier cooking methods.

Photo: Mike Lee, Vice President of Sales, Marina Bay Sands