Singapore consortium led by Temasek to launch Connect@Changi, the world’s first Business Travel Exchange
 
Dec 15, 2020
Category:

Pilot purpose-built accommodation allows Singapore and international travellers to conduct business meetings and engagements in a safe and contained environment

SINGAPORE, 15 December 2020 -- ( ASIA TODAY ) -- Temasek announced today the development of a pilot short-stay facility that will support safe business exchanges between international travellers and Singapore residents as one of the measures to help progressively open our borders and facilitate business activities, while protecting our community.

Connect@Changi is developed by a Singapore consortium, led by Temasek and includes The Ascott Limited, Changi Airport Group, Sheares Healthcare Group, SingEx and Surbana Jurong. The project’s initial phase, located at Singapore EXPO Halls 7 and 8, involves building over 670 premium guest rooms and close to 170 meeting rooms that can accommodate a range of meeting sizes, from four to 22 attendees. When fully constructed in mid-2021, the facility will include more than 1,300 guest rooms and about 340 meeting rooms.

Construction is now underway for the first phase of the Connect@Changi project, located at the Singapore EXPO & MAX Atria within a five-minute drive from Changi Airport. When launched in Q1 2021, Connect@Changi will offer an integrated ‘test-stay-work-meet’ experience for inbound business travellers, complementing the Singapore’s government’s broader efforts to accelerate the resumption of regional and international business activities in a safe and calibrated manner.

Business travellers landing at Changi Airport can make use of the facility to meet their Singapore-based counterparts or hold regional meetings in person, all while enjoying a comfortable stay in the equivalent of a four-star accommodation facility, with safe management measures in place. Such an arrangement between an international airport and purpose-built accommodation of scale that safeguards guests and the local community from COVID-19 is a world first.

Prior to the pandemic, almost nine in ten business travellers arriving at Changi Airport stayed here for five days or less.

How it works: Business Travel eXchange (BTX)
Connect@Changi will feature meticulous 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 prior to departing the facility for their home countries. Entrances, exits and ventilation systems for both guests and Singapore-based visitors are separated. Guests can meet their local counterparts or other guests from the region safely in specially designed meeting rooms outfitted with air-tight glass panels, reducing the risk of transmission.

Connect@Changi will also deploy innovative solutions to minimise contact between guests and frontline staff, such as self-service meeting rooms. Meals will be delivered to pre-installed shelves located outside guest rooms, and guests can also opt for additional F&B options via vending machines and delivery services.

“Connect@Changi is part of Temasek’s efforts to invigorate the recovery of our aviation and hospitality sectors by facilitating business activities in the region and beyond, while safeguarding the health and safety of our local community,” said Robin Hu, Head, Sustainability and Stewardship Group, Temasek.

“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. 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.”

As a living laboratory, Connect@Changi will feature an array of novel COVID-19 management strategies, such as wastewater testing for early detection, latest rapid point-of-care tests to complement established lab-based PCR tests, and automated contact tracing within the facility to enable rapid and precise identification of individuals. If successful, these strategies can be deployed at existing facilities elsewhere, such as hotels, to strengthen and boost Singapore’s pandemic response.

Connect@Changi can also serve as an effective MICE bubble for various high level signature meetings and conferences in the new normal.

Apart from supporting the recovery of business travel, Connect@Changi will create over 800 jobs in Singapore in construction, as well as the maintenance and provision of services within the facility. Local F&B and retail businesses can also tap into an e-concierge service, where guests can experience Singapore’s food and shopping offerings from the comfort of their rooms.

For accommodation and business queries regarding Connect@Changi, please visit www.connectatchangi.sg

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For media enquiries, please contact:
David BOEY
Public Affairs Temasek Tel: +65 6828 6228 davidboey@temasek.com.sg
Isabelle LOH Weber Shandwick, Singapore
Tel: +65 9115 4340
ConnectChangi@webershandwick.com