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Temasek-led consortium to launch world's first business travel exchange

Felicia Tan
Felicia Tan • 3 min read
Temasek-led consortium to launch world's first business travel exchange
The facility will help support safe business exchanges and is said to create over 800 jobs in Singapore.
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A consortium, led by Temasek Holdings, has developed a pilot short-stay facility to support safe business exchanges between international travellers and Singapore residents.

The consortium includes The Ascott Limited, Changi Airport Group, Sheares Healthcare Group, SingEx and Surbana Jurong.

The facility, Connect@Changi, is the world’s first business travel exchange, and is set up as one of the measures to help progressively open Singapore’s borders.

The facility will also serve to promote business activities while protecting the community.

The project is located at Singapore EXPO Halls 7 and 8, and will see an initial phase that comprises over 670 guest rooms and close to 170 meeting rooms. The meeting rooms can accommodate sizes from four to 22 attendees.

The facility is said to offer comforts and other features equivalent to a four-star accommodation.

When fully constructed in mid-2021, the facility will include over 1,300 guest rooms and 340 meeting rooms.

When launched in 1Q2021, Connect@Changi will offer an integrated ‘test-stay-work-meet’ experience for inbound business travellers. This is done in a bid to accelerate the resumption of regional and international business activities in a safe and calibrated manner.

Business travellers coming in from Changi Airport can make use of the facility to meet their Singapore-based counterparts or hold regional meetings in person with safe management measures in place.

According to Temasek via a Dec 15 statement, Connect@Changi will create over 800 jobs in Singapore in construction, as well as the maintenance and provision of services within the facility.

SEE: Trafigura to hire Temasek Holdings executive Mattar in expansion push

How it works

Connect@Changi will feature protocols and procedures to ensure the safety of guests and employees.

These include a rigorous Covid-19 testing regime for guest travellers before and throughout their stay, as well as before departing the facility for their home countries.

Entrances, exits and ventilation systems for guests and Singapore-based visitors are separated.

Guests can meet their Singaporean or regional counterparts in specially-designed meeting rooms with air-tight panels, reducing the risk of transmission.

Contact between guests and frontline staff will also be minimised. For instance, meals will be delivered to pre-installed shelves outside guest rooms. Guests may also opt for additional options such as vending machines and delivery services.

“We studied business travel patterns before the pandemic, and designed the facility and programme to meet the needs of businesses and business travellers in the region,” says Robin Hu, Head, Sustainability and Stewardship Group, Temasek.

“By partnering The Ascott Limited, Changi Airport Group, Sheares Healthcare, SingEx and Surbana Jurong to develop this first-of-its-kind Business Travel eXchange, we hope to support the efforts to build national resilience during the pandemic, and make Singapore a global reference point on the restoration of air travel in a safe and secure manner,” Hu adds.

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