$700 million to boost tourism over next five years: S. Iswaran

The Government is investing $700 million over the next five years to boost tourism, said Minister for Trade and Industry S Iswaran.
The Government is investing $700 million over the next five years to boost tourism, said Minister for Trade and Industry S Iswaran.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Government is investing $700 million over the next five years to boost tourism through strategies that tackle short- term challenges such as uncertainties in the global economy while positioning Singapore for long-term growth, said Minister for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran.

The third tranche of the Tourism Development Fund will focus on developing Singapore's tourism products, improving productivity through technology and investing in manpower, he said on Monday (April 25).

Speaking at a tourism industry conference at Suntec Convention Centre, Mr Iswaran noted that Singapore has seen overall growth between 2010 and 2015, but the recent two years have been more challenging.

"On the one hand, there is the promise of significant long-term opportunities. On the other hand, we must contend with periodic fluctuations caused by uncertainties in the global economy, adverse developments in key source markets, growing competition in the region and domestic resource constraints," he told 1,000 industry players.

"Against this backdrop, we need two types of responses - strategies that will best position us to benefit from long-term growth opportunities - and tactical measures to deal with volatility and challenges in the short term," he added.

Singapore Tourism Board (STB) chief executive Lionel Yeo shared the agency's strategies for the next five years at the conference, such as ramping up marketing efforts in secondary cities in China, Indonesia and India, and exploring newer markets like Myanmar.

Also in the works is a central hub where businesses can exchange information about their offerings.

"In this repository of information and services, our businesses will be able to cross-share and freely access one another's content and services, we would have removed a lot of friction in how we exchange content and build towards enhanced visitor experiences," said STB's chief technology officer Quek Choon Yang.

The aim is to transform Singapore into a single, unified "mega-attraction" for visitors - enabled by a one-stop mobile application and smart kiosks at key visitor hot spots.