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Getting locals to rediscover Singapore charms

STB hopes free tours of sights will help them to be tourism ambassadors

Published on Mar 5, 2014 8:38 AM
 
Free weekend tours of Haw Par Villa will be offered to Singaporeans on the 15th, 16th, 22nd and 23rd of this month, when the theme park's history will be explained to visitors. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

From Haw Par Villa's gruesome mythological statues to the historic Singapore River, locals will be offered free guided tours of famous sights to help them rediscover their own backyard.

The Singapore Tourism Board is launching a series of tours from this month as part of its Tourism50 celebrations. The STB was set up in 1964 as the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board and is marking 50 years of tourism development and promotion here.

It wants local residents to relive their memories of famous Singapore attractions and create new ones with friends and family.

It also hopes that they will become "tourism ambassadors" who pass on their experiences to visitors and to a new audience through social media.

 
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Background story

INTERNATIONAL AUDIENCE

Every tweet or photo that we share on platforms like Instagram or Facebook has an international audience. If they give a thumbs up... that really has resonance with visitors.

- STB chief executive Lionel Yeo, on tapping the positive energy of residents who can act as tourism ambassadors when they show friends and families around the island or post photos and messages online

ABOUT ADVOCACY

It's not about chasing numbers. It's about advocacy - getting locals to tell their friends how great Singapore and its attractions are.

- Mr Kevin Cheong, chairman of the Association of Singapore Attractions