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STB launches 'Chun Jie' campaign to Promote Chinese New Year Festivities in Singapore

Travel News Asia 29 December 2003

With the Chinese New Year festivities just around the corner, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is set to usher in the coming Year of the Monkey with a one-month long marketing campaign to draw more visitors to Singapore during the Chinese New Year period.

Building on the great buzz of activity from the annual Chinese New Year Light-up and festivities in Chinatown, the Singapore River Hong Bao and the Chingay Parade - all key Chinese New Year events in Singapore - the STB plans to sell Singapore as the place to be during the Chinese New Year festive season.

The three anchor Chinese New Year events, together with other fringe activities including the Esplanade's Huayi Festival (the Chinese Festival of Arts 2004), the Rainbow Rhapsody at the Chinese Gardens and the Flower Garden Fair at Albert Mall, will form the heart of the Board's Chun Jie marketing campaign, which will run from 3 January to 5 February 2004.

Chun Jie, which literally means 'spring festival' and is a synonymous term for the Lunar New Year in Chinese culture, will be the umbrella branding under which the STB will promote Singapore's Chinese New Year celebrations next month. This marks the first time that the Board is linking and marketing the three anchor Chinese New Year events under a single umbrella event branding.

The STB's Director for Sightseeing and Attractions, Mr Chang Chee Pey, explained that the Board traditionally markets the three major Chinese New Year festivals separately. In the past, the Chinese New Year celebrations have also been packaged together with other cultural festivities which typically take place at the end of the year, including Deepavali, Hari Raya and Christmas.

"This coming Chinese New Year, however, for the first time, we are positioning the Chinatown Light-up, Chingay and the Singapore River Hong Bao as Chun Jie events. By doing so, we believe it will give the Chinese New Year festivities in Singapore more focus and identity. In the long-run, we aim to groom the Chun Jie branding into an enduring icon for Chinese New Year in Singapore. We hope that in the future, when visitors and local residents think of Chinese New Year here, they will inevitably think of Chun Jie,'' said Mr Chang.

To help take this message abroad, the STB will be promoting dedicated Chun Jie packages in several key markets, including China, Taiwan, Malaysia and Vietnam. While the packages offered may vary according to the markets, they would typically feature special deals on airfares, accommodation and local sightseeing tours. For example, STB Taiwan has tied up with Singapore Airlines, Eva Air and China Airlines on joint promotions to promote the Chun Jie and Chingay festivities.

To make the deals even more attractive, the package will also include a specially-produced monkey-shaped goodie bag containing F&B discounts as well as free tickets to attractions such as the Chinatown Heritage Centre, the Bird's Nest Gallery and the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial. These goodie bags, worth S$88 each, will be given away for every Chun Jie package sold in selected markets.

The Board's network of regional offices will also market the Chun Jie festivities overseas through radio promotions, advertisements in local dailies in-market, promotional contests and media familiarisation trips. STB Malaysia, for example, will also be promoting the Chun Jie events through promotions at shopping malls as well as press advertisements in key Malaysian dailies. It has also tied up with Radio Singapore International (RSI) to bring down 200 listeners from Malaysia for Chingay, in conjunction with the radio station's 10th anniversary. 

Arriving and transiting passengers at Singapore Changi Airport will be welcomed by gigantic banners featuring the Chun Jie festivities. They can also get more information from Chun Jie brochures, which will be available at specially-designed racks throughout the airport.

The exciting line-up of Chinese New Year festivities which local residents and visitors can look forward to in January include:

The Chinatown Lunar New Year Light-up and Festival (3-21 Jan)

The annual Lunar New Year festivities in Chinatown promise to be the most exciting in its 20-year history. For the first time in more than 30 years, firecrackers will be set off in the streets of Chinatown, in addition to the annual spectacular fireworks display on the opening night of the Chinatown Light-Up on 3 January 2004. The theme this year will revolve around the Year of the Monkey; Chinatown will be transformed into a colourful playground for the new year's mascot, complete with overarching peach trees lining the streets of Chinatown.

Another 'first' for Chinatown is the Chinese New Year Eve Countdown Street Party, which aims to draw the younger generation to Chinatown for the Lunar New Year celebrations. New Bridge Road will be closed especially for merry-makers to usher in the Chinese New Year.

This historic and culturally-rich district of Singapore will be a hive of activity throughout January as local residents and visitors can be expected to throng the festive bazaar, which will offer an exquisite feast of festive goodies such as waxed duck, barbecued sweet meats, cookies and new year accessories. With over 400 stalls lining the streets in Chinatown, the Chinatown festive bazaar along Trengganu, Pagoda, Temple and Sago streets is another attraction not be missed.

Singapore River Hong Bao 2004

As with the past, the Marina Promenade will be transformed into an eye-catching fairyland of lights and colour as Singapore welcomes back the Singapore River Hong Bao. Now into its 18th year, the festival along the river promises to be different from previous years, as it takes on a more interactive concept modelled after Disneyland. Families and children will be treated to a nightly parade comprising the ever-popular Fortune God and a spectacular line-up of performers and acrobatic display. Chinese legend characters who will 'meet-and-greet' visitors to the festival will provide pockets of entertainment throughout the carnival grounds. Next year's Singapore River Hong Bao promises an exciting time for families and children, with an interesting line-up of events and activities, including a huge Chinese Junk display, a Chinese Cultural Village showcasing arts and crafts from China and an amusement park, among others.

A spectacular showcase of performances, including that by the Song and Dance Theatre from Xiamen, an opera troupe from Taipei and puppeteers from Zhangzhou, will herald in the Year of the Monkey with a true blast.

Chingay 2004

The annual Chingay parade will once again be a thrilling showcase of Singapore's rich multi-cultural heritage, with a mesmerising line-up of international and local acts. With more than 40 performances involving over 4,000 locals and overseas participants, Chingay 2004 will see the largest number of acts and performances to date. The grandest multi-cultural street float in Asia, this eye-catching parade will feature the theme of 'Parade of DreamS'.

A new item for Chingay 2004 is a pre-parade segment called 'Street of DreamS', which features free expression and performances by Singaporeans who wish to showcase their talents to the crowds. Adding a new interactive element to Chingay, audiences will be encouraged to dress up for the parade this year. For the first time, visitors will also be allowed to sit along the road, flanking the parade route, and they will be able to join in the parade as a last segment.

Food lovers can also look forward to the 'Flavours of DreamS' carnival, a food fest which will be staged at the Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza from 28 January to 2 February 2004.

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