World Orchid Conference Trust Declares 20th World Orchid Conference in Singapore the Finest There Has Ever Been - Some 300,000 Visits at 20th World Orchid Conference World Orchid Show and Gardens by the Bay
20 Nov 2011
The 20th World Orchid Conference (20WOC), attended by over 1,000 delegates from all over the world, ended on a high note with the World Orchid Conference Trust avowing that the 20WOC in Singapore is "the finest there has ever been". The resolution echoes comments from Ms Elizabeth Banks, President of the Royal Horticultural Society, that the event was "no doubt the finest ever". The event also saw Guayaquil (largest city in Ecuador) winning the bid to host the 22nd World Orchid Conference in 2017. The World Orchid Conference Show and Gardens by the Bay, two key highlights of the event, saw some 300,000 visits over the eight-day period.
The World Orchid Conference Show, known as the 'Olympics of Orchids', is a prestigious triennial international event. Themed "Where New and Old World Orchids Meet', 20WOC comprised three components: a four-day conference, eight-day World Orchid Conference Show and Marketplace. The 20WOC was the largest orchid show held in Singapore to date. Visitors to the show were treated to more than 75 stunning displays which showcased the finest and most spectacular orchids from around the world. Ticket-holders also enjoyed a preview of the Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay from 14 to 20 November 2011. Organised by the National Parks Board (NParks) and Orchid Society of Southeast Asia (OSSEA), the orchid extravaganza, which featured some 50,000 orchids of 5,000 varieties, was held from 13 to 20 November 2011 at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre Basement 2.
On the successful staging of the 20th World Orchid Conference in Singapore, Dr. Kiat W. Tan, Chairman of the 20WOC Organising Committee and CEO of Gardens by the Bay, said: "We are pleased that the World Orchid Conference and Gardens by the Bay delighted many people and received favourable feedback from visitors from all over the world. More importantly, it reinforced Singapore's position as a City in a Garden, and cultivated in many of our fellow Singaporeans and international visitors an appreciation for orchids and greenery."
Apart from viewing the stunning exhibits, visitors also purchased orchid-related products at the WOC Retail Shop and Marketplace. Among the best-sellers were the cocoa-scented orchid, orchid vanilla tea, and 20WOC commemorative stamps. One of the highlights at the WOC Retail Shop was a special edition photography book titled 'Orchids of Splendour: A Face of Singapore', featuring 55 pictures of various orchids taken at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. The book retailed for S$15 and after WOC, the book would be available at the Garden Shop and Library Shop at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. All proceeds of the book sold are donated to the Native Orchid Conservation Fund.
Highlights of the 20WOC over the past week included the Gala Dinner graced by President Tony Tan Keng Yam, the Opening Ceremony graced by Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, and the visit by Sir Elton John who received an orchid named after him at the show. At the Gala Dinner, Dr. Kiat W. Tan also became the first recipient of the World Orchid Conference Trust medal. The World Orchid Conference Trust medal is awarded to deserving individuals who distinguished themselves in their service to the orchid and/or horticultural world through their professional or personal work.
The 21st WOC in 2014 will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The Flower Dome in the Bay South Garden of Gardens by the Bay will be closed after the preview for the Gardens to complete development works. Bay South Garden will officially open in June 2012.
For more information on the 20WOC and Gardens by the Bay, please visit www.20woc.com.sg and www.gardensbythebay.org.sg