In a bid to resume international business meetings in Singapore amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Temasek announced today (Feb 18) the launch of the first phase of Connect@Changi.
Located at Singapore EXPO and Max Atria, this pilot short-stay facility is designed to support safe business meetings between international business travelers and Singapore residents.
Travelers would not need to undergo prior quarantining, but are required to remain within the facilities throughout their stay. They would also have to take “rigorous” Covid-19 tests.
This includes a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Test upon arrival at Changi Airport, on days 3, 7 and 14 of their stay, as well as prior to departing the facility, depending on the requirements of the destination country.
Dubbed the first of its kind in world, Connect@Changi currently has 150 “premium” guest rooms and 40 meeting rooms of different sizes, which can accommodate from four to 22 people.
This will expand to around 660 guest rooms and 170 meeting rooms when the initial phase of the project is completed in May.
When fully completed later this year, the facility will have the potential capacity to host about 1,300 business travellers at any one time.
The project, which took almost four months, is developed by a Singapore consortium led by Temasek, and includes The Ascott Limited, Changi Airport Group, Sheares Healthcare Group, SingEx-Sphere Holdings and Surbana Jurong.
“Without such a facility, travel options are essentially binary – either stay at home due to travel restrictions, or fly overseas and endure long periods in quarantine,” said Robin Hu, Head of International Policy & Governance at Temasek and Chairman of SingEx-Sphere Holdings.
“We are now ready to offer business travellers the option of resuming in-person meetings in a safe and contained manner, and do our part to catalyse economic recovery for Singapore and across the region.”
How Much Does The Rooms Cost?
The four-star Connect@Changi facility offers rooms starting at S$384.
This is inclusive of three meals, mini-bar, toiletries, Wi-Fi connection, two-way airport transfer, as well as the Covid-19 tests required during the stay.
All guests residing at the facility will also have access to recreational areas in two courtyards designed with park-like settings.
Those who opt to stay there will be transported from the airport to the Singapore Expo directly after they take a Covid-19 test at the airport.
They will have to stay in the room while awaiting their initial test result, which will take about six hours to process.
Those who test negative can then have meetings with local and international business with safe distancing measures in place.
For one, the meetings will be conducted in rooms outfitted with floor-to-ceiling air-tight glass panels to reduce the risk of transmission.
Large-scale video conferences can also be held, which would allow hybrid meetings to take place.
Additionally, the areas that local residents and business travellers can access are physically separated, and have different ventilation systems. Therefore, Singapore-based visitors are not required to undergo testing when accessing the facility.
Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, who was present at the launch of Connect@Changi, noted that virtual meetings cannot fully replace face-to-face interactions.
“Face-to-face interactions are important for growing relationships, strengthening partnerships, and exploring new business opportunities,” he said.
“For some, physical meetings are still important for securing and closing business deals, and making important decisions.”
Rooms are now open for bookings at www.connectatchangi.sg, or through the Connect @ Changi mobile app.
Featured Image Credit: Connect@Changi