A slew of initiatives were announced at Singapore’s Tourism Industry Conference (TIC) this morning to ensure the success and future of the industry, as the country welcomed one million international visitor arrivals (IVA) in March and saw continued momentum in tourism recovery.
Minister of state (MOS) for trade and industry Alvin Tan, expressing cautious optimism, said Singapore was expected to register between 12 and 14 million IVA and around S$18 billion (US$13.6 billion) to $21 billion in tourist receipts this year.
This is approximately two-thirds to three- quarters of pre-pandemic levels of 19 million and S$28 billion respectively.
MOS’s Tan added: “In the next three years, the Asia-Pacific will likely be our main sources of international visitor arrivals, with China joining them as it continues to reopen.”
But the future is “quality tourism”, “driving higher yield” and “creating good jobs”, according to Singapore Tourism Board (STB) chief executive Keith Tan, and to focus on “Redefining our Destination”, “Reconnecting with our Fans” and “Reinventing our Industry”.
“Singapore cannot be a low-cost destination”, he continued, and urged the industry to “think hard about long-term success”.
Singapore’s recovery arsenal will include a refreshed brand campaign focusing on Passion Made Possible – with the aim to inspire travel by showing how Singapore turns ordinary moments into extraordinary experiences.
The campaign will be launched in September and zero in on six key competitive strengths of Singapore: World’s Best MICE City – a leading MICE destination; Culinary Capital – a top culinary destination; Family Playground – an ideal family-friendly destination; Twice the Fun – a vibrant and exciting city that maximises all opportunities and spaces to create fun experiences, including in our after-dark hours; City that Connects – a multi-cultural hub that is well connected to the region; and Travel Well – a sustainable city and wellness haven.
Also announced at TIC, attended by 400 on-site and 600 virtual members of the industry, is a S$10 million Singapore On-screen fund.
Co-funded by STB and Infocomm Media Development Authority, the fund aims to attract global players to use Singapore as the backdrop to create content and deep story telling on a multitude of platforms.
STB’s Tan elaborated: “With this joint fund, we hope to catalyse production of major film and TV projects set in Singapore, and made in collaboration with international media and entertainment partners. This will provide our home-grown talents opportunities to work with their international counterparts and allow our people and companies to grow their capabilities and increase their global exposure.
“We will invite selected media conglomerates, major streamers and production studios with regional or global networks to apply for the fund and be a part of Singapore’s branded entertainment efforts.”
Meanwhile, Singapore icon Orchard Road will be rejuvenated with “better signage” and a way-finding experience that will make navigation easier.
Apart from better access, Orchard Road’s rejuvenation will include embracing sustainability, social impact and local lifestyles along the 2.2km stretch of Tanglin Road, Orchard Road and Dhoby Ghaut.
In its sustainability commitment and Singapore’s certification by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, STB will be working closely with the Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (SACEOS) to mount a two-year programme.
As for Singapore’s tourism attractions, they will be getting a digital leg-up with the inauguration of a step-by-step technical road map on customer service, marketing and sustainability.
During a Q&A session, STB’s Tan said new international areas of opportunity included the rise of Indian female visitors “who can have fun and feel safe”, sports spectators and “entertainment events”.
He added that STB was looking at the possibility of partnering event promoters “to curate and create multiple peaks throughout the year”.