In this next level of virtual travel by Singapore-based Monster Day Tours, participants can play along with a Bingo card to win prizes like food and vouchers. Pamela Chow gives the Virtual Bingo Tour a spin
The Covid-19 pandemic has spawned a whole generation of online tours that enable consumers to ‘visit’ destinations from the comfort and safety of their own homes. Many of these tours, however, feature pre-recorded walkthroughs with little audience engagement.
Seeing a gap in this space, Monster Day Tours has rolled out a series of Virtual Bingo Tours in Singapore, where tour guides stream live commentaries from both beloved and lesser-known places, and participants stand to win prizes by playing along with a Bingo card and trivia games.
The Virtual Bingo Tours are hosted on Zoom, with each ticket priced at S$10 (US$7). Participants can win a variety of mini-prizes, as well as a grand prize of S$1,000. The first tours, covering the one-north district, have been held twice a month since July and were sold out. The next tour will be held on September 5.
The following series will visit St John’s Island, with dates to be announced. More attractions, including behind-the-scenes visits, are being developed.
I joined the first Virtual Bingo Tour that explored the unique region of one-north. With my own Bingo card loaded on one half of my screen and the Zoom tour on the other half, I dove into the depths of Singapore’s “Silicon Valley”, led by Monster Day Tours’ co-founder, Byron Koh.
As Koh introduced the history of one-north and how it came to be the country’s hotbed for innovation, I kept my ears peeled for boxes on my Bingo cards that I could cross out. The cards were populated with a mix of key words – to be marked once they were mentioned – as well as numbers.
The numbers could be checked off during intervals, when a number wheel was spun or when co-founder and ‘moderator’ TY Suen dropped the group a trivia question. The first two respondents to send the right answer in the chat could each pick a number to be crossed out. At some junctures, we could even receive discounts from featured merchants.
By the second leg of the tour, Bingos were called across the chat. Every player who struck out a row of five boxes would be entitled to one spin on the mini-prize wheel, with prizes ranging from Grab and Starbucks vouchers, to even fresh fruit delivered to one’s doorstep.
Players who mark off three lines on their Bingo card will be entitled to one spin on the grand prize wheel. Unfortunately, none of the guests on our tour were quite so lucky.
A tour in Singapore might ordinarily be a hot and humid affair in the sun, but from the comfort of my room, the two-hour Virtual Bingo Tour flew by too quickly. The Bingo game and trivia questions were excellent ways to keep participants immersed and engaged, while ensuring they kept up with the contents of the tour.
Both Suen and Koh, serving as our guides, were highly personable and enjoyable to have on the tour. Some segments were even reminiscent of a casual TV shopping experience as we grew curious about creations such as a recycling compactor and an environmentally friendly air-cooling unit.
The guides instructed participants to turn on their cameras, which was not explicitly stated before the session. Participants should ensure that their computer cameras have decent video quality, or inform Monster Day Tours beforehand if they are not comfortable with having their camera activated.