The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has launched a Sin$90 million
BOOST (Building On Opportunities to Strengthen Tourism) initiative aimed
at helping the tourism sector ride through these challenging times.
Commenting on the tough times ahead, Ms Aw
Kah Peng, STB’s Chief Executive, said, “Singapore’s advantage is that
we are entering this difficult period from a position of strength.
Our past efforts have entrenched Singapore as a premier business city
and one of Asia’s lifestyle and entertainment capitals, and our
healthcare and education services sector is highly reputable.
Building on this strong foundation, the Singapore Tourism Board is
committed to working with tourism businesses to weather the economic
downturn and ensure that the sector emerges from it stronger.”
STB’s Sin$90 million
BOOST complements the Singapore government’s recently unveiled $20.5
billion Resilience Package, which contains measures that aim to save
jobs and help viable companies stay afloat.
Tourism businesses in
Singapore can tap on the broad-based schemes under the Resilience
Package, as well as others that are directly relevant to the tourism
sector. These include the enhanced Air Hub Development Fund by the
Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, and the GEMS-Plus program just
launched by SPRING Singapore, STB, the Workforce Development Agency,
NTUC and Institute of Service Excellence at SMU.
There are six key
thrusts to BOOST. It aims to boost demand in travel to Singapore, the
government’s funding support to the sector, the sector’s capabilities,
outreach to Singapore residents, partnership with the industry and
the future of the sector.
Measures under BOOST include tactical
marketing campaigns, as well as enhanced assistance schemes, developed
in collaboration with tourism industry leaders and partners.
Destinations worldwide are
riding on the same global trends which show that tourists prefer
short-haul travel and destinations offering greater value, as consumers
become more cost conscious. Singapore must therefore ensure it remains
desirable and competitive as a destination to drive demand for travel
Capturing greater mindshare and growing market share
are critical to boosting visitorship in 2009. To do so, STB has
developed two campaigns targeting leisure, as well as business and
MICE visitors this year.
“2009 Reasons to enjoy Singapore” is a
global marketing campaign under which visitors can enjoy travel
packages and promotions that offer quality and exciting experiences at
value for money prices. To date, some promotions offering attractive
airfare and hotel packages have already been confirmed and will be
launched globally as part of the campaign on 19 February.
currently working with more stakeholders including airlines such as
Singapore Airlines, travel agents, travel portals such as Zuji,
attractions and retailers to develop more offers. It also hopes to
attract more partners throughout the year.
To do so,
STB is offering a cost-sharing incentive under this campaign. Businesses
can receive co-funding support for advertising and promotion, as well
as leverage STB’s extensive global network to jointly market the
deals. Meanwhile, consumers will stand to benefit from the attractive
travel packages offered by STB and industry partners, comprising
airfare, hotel, attractions and retail offers.
STB will place
emphasis on four major regional markets – China, India, Indonesia and
Malaysia – and one emerging market, Vietnam. Within these markets,
key customer segments targeted include Free and Independent
Travellers (FIT), group travellers and MICE visitors.
Given the large
flow of stopover traffic at Changi Airport, STB will also focus on
stopover travellers from Australia, Germany and the United Kingdom.
To create more buzz about Singapore, STB will leverage online media and
viral marketing channels such as Facebook to launch
attention-grabbing promotions under the “2009 Reasons to enjoy
Singapore” campaign. “Fly on US” is the first major online promotion,
and offers Sin$500,000 worth of free air tickets to Singapore, as well
as Sin$10,000 cash to be won monthly. The campaign will be launched on
19 February 2009 and last till end-May 2009.
STB has also developed a
MICE attendance building campaign to drive MICE visitorship in 2009
and grow Singapore’s market share within this segment.
initiative, STB will work with key events to strengthen their
programmes. These enhanced events will then be marketed to their respective target audience in key regional markets through joint
To help companies alleviate their business costs, STB has
enhanced its current assistance schemes and raised its funding
Through the enhanced BE in Singapore (BEIS) scheme, MICE
companies can gain more cost savings, as STB is now defraying a
higher proportion of events’ project costs and providing a greater
scope of funding support.
STB has also provided a 50% reduction over
last year’s participation fees for STB-led leisure and MICE
tradeshows, and waived tourist guide and travel agent licence fees.
Singapore’s tourism sector is a sector that continues to see job growth,
backed by the strong pipeline of tourism projects and the positive
outlook of the sector beyond the mid-term.
12,000 tourism jobs are
available this year in new hotels, the integrated resorts and
tourism-related sectors. When the two integrated resorts are
completed, 20,000 tourism jobs will be available.
Companies that wish
to upgrade their employees’ skills can tap on Training Industry
Professionals in Tourism (TIP-iT) In
addition, the GEMS-Plus program will help inculcate service
excellence as part of Singapore’s service culture through initiatives
such as the Customer-Centric Initiative, a service quality accreditation
“Strengthening the competencies and service delivery of our
workforce is key to ensuring the growth and competitiveness of
Singapore as a destination, and is crucial to making tourism careers
here more attractive. As companies review their current business models
to adapt to the dynamic global situation, they will need to consider
re-designing jobs so as to make these more appealing, rewarding and
satisfying to existing and potential employees. In this way,
businesses can help the sector become a choice employer,” said Ms Aw.
Singapore residents have embraced the transformation of Singapore’s tourism landscape as the city becomes a more exciting place to live.
And they play an important role as Singapore’s tourism ambassadors.
Through local promotions under the campaign, STB aims to encourage
local residents to also get out and enjoy Singapore’s tourism offerings
and encourage more friends and family overseas to visit Singapore.
For a start, during the weekends in February, 2009 free tickets to
selected Singapore attractions are up for grabs, and Singapore
residents will be able to benefit from 7% GST savings at participating
retailers. These promotions will be launched in local media today (12
February), with more to be revealed throughout the year.
BOOST Partnership and the Future
Beyond the launch of BOOST, STB
has called for more industry players to participate in the BOOST initiatives, in particular the “2009
Reasons to enjoy Singapore” and MICE attendance building campaigns.
“Singapore’s success so far is a product of innovative
ideas combined with close collaboration between the public and
private sectors. The tourism sector needs fresh ideas from industry
players and their added support to give it a boost during these
challenging times. Beyond the downturn, our partnership will serve us
well as we develop tourism offerings that will differentiate us from
other destinations. If we can rally together, as we have done during
previous crises, I am confident that we will grow as a sector, with all
industry players standing to benefit,” said Ms Aw.
STB will be
organising a series of seminars to create greater awareness of the
Government wide schemes and initiatives available, and how industry
members can have access to them.
With all these initiatives and others, STB is
expecting 9 – 9.5 million in visitor arrivals and Sin$12 –
Sin$12.5 billion in tourism receipts in 2009.
other recent news regarding:
Singapore Visitor Arrivals