3| Hard news (467 words)

First Interactive Travel Fair in
Singapore

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The National Association of Travel
Agents Singapore will be holding their first annual interactive travel fair,
Wanderlust, this month.

(Photo credit: NATAS Travel)

Wanderlust, is the first interactive
travel fair in Singapore that promote solo travel among Millennials in
Singapore. The fair will be held for one month, between 20 January 2018 and 20
February 2018, at Singapore Expo Halls 4 & 5A, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

In conjunction with the 50/50
partnership between the National Association of Travel Agents Singapore and the
Government of Sweden to make 2018 the year of Scanditravel, the Wanderlust
travel fair 2018 will be promoting Sweden as their 2018 theme.

Visitors will be able to try some
traditional Swedish food, enjoy some Swedish folk dance, and interact with an
exclusive photo exhibition put up by Singapore Travel Photographer, Jino Lee. A
special Saturday line-up includes a sharing session with Jaclynn Seah,
Singaporean Travel blogger from The Occasional Traveller scheduled at 1 p.m.

In addition, visitors will also be able
to get complimentary consultation with over 100 participating travel agencies,
on their potential adventure in Sweden. Individual packages will be on sales at
a discounted rate for Singaporeans and Permanent Residences.

Ms Candy Yeo, Senior Tour Advisor at
Chan Brothers Travel Agency, one of the participating travel agencies said, “we
understand that planning for their own trip can be difficult, especially if
they want to travel to somewhere new and remote. With our expertise and
knowledge, we want to help Millennials to source out the best deal for their
trip.”

According to a research commissioned by
Singapore Tourism Board reveals, Millennials between 18 and 34 prefer to have
control over their travel experience. They felt the burden with packaged tour
model as they have to follow strictly to the scheduled plan.

Nur Natasha, a 21-year-old student,
commented on her thoughts on tour packages model, “I hate having to wake up
early in the morning to rush to a whole list of attractions planned for the
day. The worst part is not having sufficient time to visit and enjoy the
attractions.”

Travel agencies in Singapore have been
working to provide the perfect travel plan for the millennial travellers.
However, with the rise of technology, many Millennials has turned to travel app
like Trivago and booking.com to purchase their flights and accommodations.

“Millennials are redefining the travel
and business landscape,” said Mr Steven Ler, President of NATAS. “We want to
close the gap between travel agencies and Millennials. Thus the Wanderlust
travel fair aims to provide a bridging platform where these two groups can come
together to help one another.”

The Wanderlust travel fair will be
organised yearly. Millennials can look forward to explore a different place
each year with the help of some travel agencies.

 

 

 

4| Op-ed (567 words)

Is Sweden the perfect travel
destination for Millennials?

With the recent news regarding the
50/50 partnership between the National Association of Travel Agents Singapore
(NATAS) and the government of Sweden, to make 2018 the year for ‘Scanditravel’
for Millennials, led me to rethink about what actually makes Sweden the perfect
travel destination for Millennials like myself.

Growing up in Singapore in the 21st
century, I am constantly exposed to man-made features that is the foundation of
this urban jungle. Although there are some preserve nature here like Bukit
Timah Nature Reserve and Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, yet I am still connected
to the urbanized world.

For me, the perfect getaway would be
somewhere far away from urbanisation and closer to the beautiful sight of plain
nature. This took me back to my solo backpacking trip to Sweden last year. With
about 97 percent of its area covered in nature, and one percent is reserved for
dwelling. It provides me with the perfect escape from urbanisation.

As Millennials, we believe in being
environmentally and socially conscious. A survey done by Nielsen Global shows a
confirmation bias between Millennials beliefs and what they support. With
three-fourth of the respondents supporting brands that establish a reputation
for practicing environmental and social responsibilities, which are aligned to
our belief.

In 2017, Sweden remains at number one
as the most sustainable country in the world by robecoSAM. Thus showing a
really strong culture of green and eco-friendly, which can be evidently seen by
their beautifully preserved landscape. Thus, the millennials who are looking
for an escape should consider Sweden as one of their top go-to country.

I remember my parents showed their
concern prior to my adventure, as I was 21 years old back then and I have
decided to go on a solo backpacking trip to somewhere I have not been before.

As Millennials, we crave for freedom
during our travels. According to a study commissioned by the Singapore Tourism
Board reveals, Millennials prefer to have control over their travel experience.
The majority felt that packaged tour model is more restricted as they have to
follow strictly to the scheduled plan.

Travelling solo in Sweden should be
worry-free as Sweden is ranked 18 as one of the safest country in the world,
according to the Global Peace Index. It is three spots higher than Singapore.
Meaning to say, if I feel safe in my own country, I should feel safer in
Sweden. Thus, Millennials can explore Sweden with a peace of mind.

In contrary, Sweden is definitely not a
cheap place to travel. From food to transportation, everything is relatively
more expensive than any getaway trip to the neighbouring Asian country. On
average, I spend about SGD$180 a day for the accommodation, transportation and
food. It is a hefty sum of money, especially for Millennials who are either
students with part time jobs or fresh graduates who has just started working.

Although budget can be a huge factor
when considering what the perfect travel destination is. I feel that one should
not be restricted by the cost of travelling if they want to make the most out
of their trip. There is no limit when you go on an adventure to Sweden, I feel
that safety and its huge nature landscape are the two most important things that
will make any trip memorable and carefree. Let your inner spirit be free.

 

 

5| Persuasive speech (992 words)

Good afternoon everyone! How are you
this Saturday? Today, I will be sharing with you my experience of a recent solo
backpacking trip to Sweden.

Let me start by asking, how many of you
here have been to Sweden alone? How was your experience there?

Well, to those who hasn’t been to
Sweden, or is still contemplating whether to visit to Sweden alone or with your
friends, you’ve come to the right place. After my sharing, I hope it will help
you make your decision.

So mid last year, after my trip from
Macau, I decided to take a break from the city. I wanted to go on a nature
exploration trip. I’ve been on a couple adventure, and this time, I wanted to
push myself out of my comfort zone. Hence, I decided to go on a solo
backpacking trip to Sweden.

As you would know, Sweden is located in
the northern Europe, bordered by the Gulf of Bothnia and Baltic Sea. It’s known
to be one of the greenest country, thus it was the perfect place to have my
escape from urbanisation. Note that I’ve never been to Sweden before, I was
overly excited yet nervous.

Many of my friends and family
questioned me on my travel decisions. Why not travel with a tour? So I told
them these:

Firstly, travelling free and easy puts me
in-charge of my own itinerary. I get to choose what activities to do each day,
where to eat and where to sleep. And the best part? I don’t have to wait for
anyone’s instruction. With the freedom of scheduling my own activities, I get
to fully enjoy each activity with the peace of mind.

Secondly, travelling free and easy
means I can do only what interest me. Whether it’s exploring the ancient ruins,
or the untouched forest, there are plenty of area for me to discover in Sweden.
 

Lastly, travelling free and easy means I
can learn the Swedish culture first hand. Without the rush from the tour
guides, I will have ample time to learn and embrace the Swedish culture, be it
tasting their traditional meal or interacting with the locals.

So prior to the trip, I did an
extensive research on places to visit, safety things to note, food to eat, etc.
And here are three things I found out that really made Sweden the perfect
travel destination for us, Singaporean Millennials.

Firstly, Sweden is safe for the solo
travellers. As I’ve mentioned earlier, when I travel, I constantly crave for
freedom. I dislike tours, as it can be a burden to follow the strict and tight
schedule planned. I want to have the freedom to choose where I stay, how long I
stay, where to eat and what I do each day. And Sweden is safe enough to let me
explore freely alone.

Here, take a look at the Global Peace
Index. As you can see, Sweden is ranked 18 as one of the safest country in the
world. That is three spots higher than Singapore. Thus, if you can travel carefree
around Singapore, you can explore Sweden with a peace of mind, alone or with
your friends.

I remember one incident, I was walking
along the street of Stockholm, and a Swedish lady yelled at me. Initially, I
was shocked and afraid, I didn’t know what had happened. I turn around and saw
the lady pointing to the ground where my wallet was lying. I was very grateful
to have my wallet back, or I would have just spent the rest of the trip in the
hotel.

Secondly, Sweden is for the explorers.
According to robescoSAM, Sweden is the most sustainable country in the world.
Meaning to say, being green and eco-friendly is part of the Swedish culture.
Did you know, about 97 percent of their country is covered in nature and only 1
percent is used for dwelling?

Their beautifully preserved landscape
is the perfect escape for us ‘urban citizen’. Stepping into Sweden is like
stepping into a land of Narnia. Peaceful yet magical. Don’t believe me? Well, here
are some of my favourite pictures I’ve taken while in Sweden.

The first picture. I’m sure everyone
knows what this is. This picture of the Aurora Borealis is taken in Lapland
Sweden. This natural light show occurs between early September and late March.
This phenomenon is a must in everyone’s bucket list. The experience visiting
there is incomparable to looking at the images of photo of it.

The next picture. I believe many of you
will be asking, ‘what is so special about this?’ Well, this picture was taken
at Lake Vättern, the sixth largest lake in Europe and it is best known for its
transparent clear water. This picture was actually taken at 11:40 p.m. This
natural phenomenon is called the Midnight Sun which occurs between mid-May and
July.

A live masterpiece right? And these are
only two places out of the many unexplored areas of Sweden.

Lastly, Swedish speak English. 86
percent of the locals there can speak English? Thus, if you’re planning to
backpack to Sweden for the first time, you don’t have to worry about getting
lost. You can simply ask for help from any Swedish and they might even be your
personal tour guide.

So to everyone here, I challenge you to
go out of your boundaries and go on an adventure to Sweden. Go explore the 97
percent inhabitant lands and share your pictures with us @WanderlustTF2018.

And should you need some help or
inspiration, the Wanderlust travel fair is here to help you. With over 100
travel agencies here today, to help you plan your perfect adventure to Sweden.
All the deals showcased here will be free and easy packages, best price
guarantee. Simply provide your Singapore passport to enjoy the deals.

Thank you for your kind attention, and
please enjoy the rest of your evening here at the Wanderlust travel fair 2018.

x

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