Singapore Tourism Board to take over cruise regulatory duties

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) will take over the regulation of cruise terminal operators from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) to ensure that terminals here are run in accordance with the country’s cruise hub ambition, reported local broadsheet The Straits Times.

Minister of state for trade and industry Alvin Tan said STB will be empowered to ensure high service standards and the optimal use of the limited number of berths at the Singapore Cruise Centre and Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore, and prevent excessive pricing.

The STB (Amendment) Bill will give STB regulatory control over Singapore Cruise Centre and Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore (pictured)

When the STB (Amendment) Bill takes effect the tourism board will be able to directly manage the affairs, business and property of a cruise terminal licensee under extraordinary circumstances, such as if the operator becomes insolvent, to ensure business continuity.

The updated law will also require that cruise terminal licensees’ central management and control take place in Singapore, so that STB can take swift enforcement action if needed.

STB will be empowered to conduct surveys and obtain financial and operational data from the cruise terminal licensees.

MPA will continue to regulate other marine and port facilities.

Meanwhile, the amended law also expands STB’s administrative capabilities and enforcement powers over the broader tourism industry here. For instance, STB’s purview over tourism enterprises will be extended to providing grants and acting as a guarantor for selected strategic tourism enterprises.

Another clause grants STB the ability to collect and access tourism information, such as visitor numbers and tourism receipts from businesses.

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