Singapore Tourism Board (STB) will form a joint task force through a public-private partnership to map out tourism recovery strategies for Singapore as part of the tourism board’s multi-pronged effort to help tourism businesses that have taken a significant hit from the Novel Coronavirus.
Tourism arrivals and receipts for 2020 have tumbled in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, with the commercial fallout likely to persist, due to travel restrictions and fears over the dangerous outbreak.
Besides China, which accounts for around 20 per cent of international visitorship, arrivals from STB’s other key source markets are also expected to fall due to lower travel confidence globally.
Based on the current situation, STB expects visitor arrivals this year to fall by about 25 to 30 per cent.
However, Singapore’s tourism sector is aiming for a strong recovery on the back of “four years of consecutive growth, a compelling pipeline of tourism investments, and efforts to build new capabilities”, said STB in a statement.
In addition, the government will form a public-private sector Tourism Recovery Action Task Force (TRAC) to lay out the plans for recovery and future growth.
The task force, which will map out recovery strategies and plans for tourism in Singapore, will comprise tourism leaders from both the private and public sectors to leverage the strengths of both sectors and to coordinate recovery efforts.
TRAC’s work will include identifying opportunities arising from the crisis, driving and implementing measures to instill confidence in Singapore’s tourism establishments, as well as co-creating and initiating recovery plans. More details will be announced at a later date.
STB CEO Keith Tan said: “Singapore’s tourism sector is facing its biggest challenge since SARS in 2003. But unlike SARS, we are now better prepared and more resilient. Our destination remains attractive; we have a strong pipeline of tourism products, and our market portfolio is diverse.”
He added: “The growth that we have enjoyed over the past four years reflects our strong tourism fundamentals. With the support of the industry and through our joint taskforce, we will continue to build our capabilities, transform our tourism businesses, and rebound strongly from the Novel Coronavirus.”
To provide immediate support for affected tourism businesses, STB had earlier unveiled measures to support hotels, travel agents and tourist guides.
Additional support measures will be announced at the Budget on February 18.
As the situation is expected to persist, STB will continue to identify targeted and effective ways to support the tourism industry and tourism employees, said STB in a statement.
Together with tourism industry partners, STB will maintain its plans to enhance Singapore’s destination attractiveness, with work progressing on the Mandai Nature Precinct, the Jurong Lake District, the Sentosa-Brani masterplan, the rejuvenation of Orchard Road, and the expansion of the Integrated Resorts.
“It is more important than ever to invest in tourism to support our businesses, build confidence in tourism, and boost our destination attractiveness – so that when things start to improve, Singapore can ride on the recovery for strong growth. STB remains committed to our mid- to long-term tourism plans to ensure that Singapore has a steady pipeline of new and repeat visitors,” Tan said.