SINGAPORE: As more Singaporeans head overseas to take part in music festivals and other events, industry players have said it is important that they know what to do when emergencies happen.
A Singaporean woman is among the victims of a water park fire in Taiwan, where one died and nearly 500 were injured. The Singaporean, 21-year-old Megan Loy, who was being treated at the Taipei Medical University Shuang-Ho Hospital, will be flown home on an International SOS flight on Tuesday morning, reports Taiwan's Central News Agency. She will be transferred to the Singapore General Hospital.
Social media manager Ain Aziz has travelled to Europe and around Asia to attend music festivals. While she makes sure those she attends do not have a chequered past, Ms Ain does not take extra precautions such as checking where the nearest exits are, or having the contact numbers of emergency services on hand.
"When you plan an itinerary to go to a music festival, the last thing you want to think about is something bad happening. So for me, if you go to a music festival, it is about not missing an act, as opposed to something bad happening,” she said.
Ms Ain added that following the incident in Taiwan, she would be more inclined to take safety precautions, such as making sure she knows the contact numbers of emergency services.
Travel agencies said that for events where large crowds gather, it is important to know where the exits are in case there is a need to evacuate.
Dynasty Travel makes sure tour managers point these out to tour groups, especially with more Singaporeans keen to travel for sporting events - such as tennis and football - or even to take part in marathons.
"People are now travelling far and wide just to attend their favourite events. At the same time, they will also take the opportunity to explore the city sights with friends and family. This market segment is growing at about 25 to 30 per cent annually,” said Ms Alicia Seah, director of marketing communications at Dynasty Travel.
The travel agency also makes sure a local guide is attached to the group in case they need help.
Race organisers like Mr Andy Foo, who is the managing director of Eventure Global, noted that it is absolutely crucial to have evacuation and medical plans in place.
Mr Foo also makes sure his participants know where to gather in case of an emergency, and takes extra precautions when joining a race overseas.
"Look at the terrain and stuff before going for an event. If you are going to Australia, just look out, (run a search on) Google Maps, search where exactly the competition is being held, so that you can do your own homework, and know where the nearest hospital is, for example,” he said.
Mr Foo added that it is always important to check with organisers as well, on who to contact in case of emergency.