3| Hard news (467 words) First Interactive

3| Hard news (467 words)First Interactive Travel Fair inSingaporeThe National Association of TravelAgents Singapore will be holding their first annual interactive travel fair,Wanderlust, this month.(Photo credit: NATAS Travel)Wanderlust, is the first interactivetravel fair in Singapore that promote solo travel among Millennials inSingapore.

The fair will be held for one month, between 20 January 2018 and 20February 2018, at Singapore Expo Halls 4 & 5A, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.In conjunction with the 50/50partnership between the National Association of Travel Agents Singapore and theGovernment of Sweden to make 2018 the year of Scanditravel, the Wanderlusttravel fair 2018 will be promoting Sweden as their 2018 theme.Visitors will be able to try sometraditional Swedish food, enjoy some Swedish folk dance, and interact with anexclusive photo exhibition put up by Singapore Travel Photographer, Jino Lee.

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Aspecial 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 ableto get complimentary consultation with over 100 participating travel agencies,on their potential adventure in Sweden. Individual packages will be on sales ata discounted rate for Singaporeans and Permanent Residences.Ms Candy Yeo, Senior Tour Advisor atChan Brothers Travel Agency, one of the participating travel agencies said, “weunderstand that planning for their own trip can be difficult, especially ifthey want to travel to somewhere new and remote. With our expertise andknowledge, we want to help Millennials to source out the best deal for theirtrip.”According to a research commissioned bySingapore Tourism Board reveals, Millennials between 18 and 34 prefer to havecontrol over their travel experience. They felt the burden with packaged tourmodel 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 upearly in the morning to rush to a whole list of attractions planned for theday. The worst part is not having sufficient time to visit and enjoy theattractions.”Travel agencies in Singapore have beenworking to provide the perfect travel plan for the millennial travellers.However, with the rise of technology, many Millennials has turned to travel applike Trivago and booking.com to purchase their flights and accommodations.”Millennials are redefining the traveland business landscape,” said Mr Steven Ler, President of NATAS.

“We want toclose the gap between travel agencies and Millennials. Thus the Wanderlusttravel fair aims to provide a bridging platform where these two groups can cometogether to help one another.”The Wanderlust travel fair will beorganised yearly. Millennials can look forward to explore a different placeeach year with the help of some travel agencies.   4| Op-ed (567 words)Is Sweden the perfect traveldestination for Millennials?With the recent news regarding the50/50 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 perfecttravel destination for Millennials like myself.Growing up in Singapore in the 21stcentury, I am constantly exposed to man-made features that is the foundation ofthis urban jungle. Although there are some preserve nature here like BukitTimah Nature Reserve and Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, yet I am still connectedto the urbanized world.

For me, the perfect getaway would besomewhere far away from urbanisation and closer to the beautiful sight of plainnature. This took me back to my solo backpacking trip to Sweden last year. Withabout 97 percent of its area covered in nature, and one percent is reserved fordwelling. It provides me with the perfect escape from urbanisation. As Millennials, we believe in beingenvironmentally and socially conscious. A survey done by Nielsen Global shows aconfirmation bias between Millennials beliefs and what they support. Withthree-fourth of the respondents supporting brands that establish a reputationfor practicing environmental and social responsibilities, which are aligned toour belief.

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

I remember my parents showed theirconcern prior to my adventure, as I was 21 years old back then and I havedecided to go on a solo backpacking trip to somewhere I have not been before.As Millennials, we crave for freedomduring our travels. According to a study commissioned by the Singapore TourismBoard reveals, Millennials prefer to have control over their travel experience.The majority felt that packaged tour model is more restricted as they have tofollow strictly to the scheduled plan.Travelling solo in Sweden should beworry-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 inSweden. Thus, Millennials can explore Sweden with a peace of mind.In contrary, Sweden is definitely not acheap place to travel. From food to transportation, everything is relativelymore expensive than any getaway trip to the neighbouring Asian country. Onaverage, I spend about SGD$180 a day for the accommodation, transportation andfood. It is a hefty sum of money, especially for Millennials who are eitherstudents with part time jobs or fresh graduates who has just started working.

Although budget can be a huge factorwhen considering what the perfect travel destination is. I feel that one shouldnot be restricted by the cost of travelling if they want to make the most outof their trip. There is no limit when you go on an adventure to Sweden, I feelthat safety and its huge nature landscape are the two most important things thatwill make any trip memorable and carefree.

Let your inner spirit be free.  5| Persuasive speech (992 words)Good afternoon everyone! How are youthis Saturday? Today, I will be sharing with you my experience of a recent solobackpacking trip to Sweden.Let me start by asking, how many of youhere have been to Sweden alone? How was your experience there?Well, to those who hasn’t been toSweden, or is still contemplating whether to visit to Sweden alone or with yourfriends, you’ve come to the right place. After my sharing, I hope it will helpyou make your decision.So mid last year, after my trip fromMacau, I decided to take a break from the city. I wanted to go on a natureexploration trip. I’ve been on a couple adventure, and this time, I wanted topush myself out of my comfort zone. Hence, I decided to go on a solobackpacking trip to Sweden.

As you would know, Sweden is located inthe northern Europe, bordered by the Gulf of Bothnia and Baltic Sea. It’s knownto be one of the greenest country, thus it was the perfect place to have myescape from urbanisation. Note that I’ve never been to Sweden before, I wasoverly excited yet nervous.Many of my friends and familyquestioned me on my travel decisions.

Why not travel with a tour? So I toldthem these:Firstly, travelling free and easy puts mein-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 foranyone’s instruction. With the freedom of scheduling my own activities, I getto fully enjoy each activity with the peace of mind.Secondly, travelling free and easymeans 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 Ican learn the Swedish culture first hand. Without the rush from the tourguides, I will have ample time to learn and embrace the Swedish culture, be ittasting their traditional meal or interacting with the locals.So prior to the trip, I did anextensive 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 perfecttravel destination for us, Singaporean Millennials.Firstly, Sweden is safe for the solotravellers. As I’ve mentioned earlier, when I travel, I constantly crave forfreedom. I dislike tours, as it can be a burden to follow the strict and tightschedule planned. I want to have the freedom to choose where I stay, how long Istay, where to eat and what I do each day.

And Sweden is safe enough to let meexplore freely alone.Here, take a look at the Global PeaceIndex. As you can see, Sweden is ranked 18 as one of the safest country in theworld. That is three spots higher than Singapore.

Thus, if you can travel carefreearound Singapore, you can explore Sweden with a peace of mind, alone or withyour friends.I remember one incident, I was walkingalong the street of Stockholm, and a Swedish lady yelled at me. Initially, Iwas shocked and afraid, I didn’t know what had happened. I turn around and sawthe lady pointing to the ground where my wallet was lying. I was very gratefulto have my wallet back, or I would have just spent the rest of the trip in thehotel.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 1percent is used for dwelling?Their beautifully preserved landscapeis the perfect escape for us ‘urban citizen’. Stepping into Sweden is likestepping into a land of Narnia. Peaceful yet magical. Don’t believe me? Well, hereare some of my favourite pictures I’ve taken while in Sweden.The first picture. I’m sure everyoneknows what this is.

This picture of the Aurora Borealis is taken in LaplandSweden. This natural light show occurs between early September and late March.This phenomenon is a must in everyone’s bucket list. The experience visitingthere is incomparable to looking at the images of photo of it.The next picture.

I believe many of youwill be asking, ‘what is so special about this?’ Well, this picture was takenat Lake Vättern, the sixth largest lake in Europe and it is best known for itstransparent clear water. This picture was actually taken at 11:40 p.m. Thisnatural phenomenon is called the Midnight Sun which occurs between mid-May andJuly.A live masterpiece right? And these areonly two places out of the many unexplored areas of Sweden.

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

So to everyone here, I challenge you togo out of your boundaries and go on an adventure to Sweden. Go explore the 97percent inhabitant lands and share your pictures with us @WanderlustTF2018.And should you need some help orinspiration, the Wanderlust travel fair is here to help you. With over 100travel agencies here today, to help you plan your perfect adventure to Sweden.All the deals showcased here will be free and easy packages, best priceguarantee. Simply provide your Singapore passport to enjoy the deals.Thank you for your kind attention, andplease enjoy the rest of your evening here at the Wanderlust travel fair 2018.

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