Quoteworthy: “If China really wants to hit back hard, it could target the US consulate in Hong Kong.” -- Li Mingjiang, an associate professor with the Nanyang Technological University’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. The US has ordered China to shut its Houston consulate within three days, in a sign of escalating tensions.

Singapore launches $45 million domestic tourism campaign

Enterprise Singapore (ESG), Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) and Singapore Tourism Board (STB) have launched “SingapoRediscovers”, a campaign urging Singaporeans and residents to explore different sides of Singapore — dubbed a “Singapoliday” — as global travel remains at a standstill amid the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The agencies have set aside $45 million for the campaign, launched on July 22. Through a wide range of partnerships with lifestyle and tourism operators, business associations, community groups and e-commerce platforms, it will offer unique and value-for-money experiences, packages and promotions for locals.

This is the largest campaign introduced in Singapore to drive local demand, and the first since “Step Out Singapore” after SARS in 2003 and “BOOST” (Building on Opportunities to Strengthen Tourism) in 2009 following the global financial crisis.

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), Singaporeans in 2018 spent more than $34 billion on overseas travel. STB hopes to capture just a fraction of this amount to be spent locally, urging Singaporeans to take a second look and rediscover the city-state.

At the same time, they can enjoy deals at hotels that are also slowly reopening and able to host staycations. Meanwhile, retail shops and cinemas have opened and F&B outlets are accepting dine-ins.

To aid the initiative, businesses and associations such as the Singapore Retailers Association, Singapore Hotel Association, Association of Singapore Attractions and Chinatown Business Association will rally members to collaborate on marketing and promotions. Around 40 businesses have come on board to offer some 80 promotions — including attractions, tours and hotel stays. Consumers can also enjoy upcoming virtual events such as the Singapore Food Festival in August, the annual Great Singapore Sale themed “eGSS: Shop.Win.Experience” in September and other “Singapoliday” offers from 4Q2020.

“Covid-19 has had a severe impact on many sectors of our economy, and it will take time for consumer confidence and international travel to recover,” says STB chief executive Keith Tan. “We will need a collective effort by the Government, community and industry stakeholders, and all Singaporeans, to sustain and support great local businesses,” he adds.

“With SingapoRediscovers, we have collaborated with various partners to create value for consumers through engaging content, quality experiences and attractive promotions.” – Samantha Chiew

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