Redeem tourism vouchers online from Dec 1

S'poreans can make bookings till next June; physical counters islandwide for assistance

Visitors on a guided tour of Kampong Lorong Buangkok, the sole remaining village in Singapore, last month. More deals will be rolled out through next June, Singapore Tourism Board chief executive Keith Tan said, urging Singaporeans not to rush to use
Visitors on a guided tour of Kampong Lorong Buangkok, the sole remaining village in Singapore, last month. More deals will be rolled out through next June, Singapore Tourism Board chief executive Keith Tan said, urging Singaporeans not to rush to use the vouchers.PHOTO: REUTERS

Singaporeans aged 18 and above will be able to redeem their $100 SingapoRediscovers vouchers and check their balance online from Dec 1, with physical counters to be set up across the island to help those in need of assistance.

From next month to June next year, eligible users can browse and book staycations, attraction tickets and local tours through five online booking platforms: Changi Recommends, GlobalTix, Traveloka, Trip.com and Klook.

Adult Singaporeans will also be able to purchase up to six subsidised tickets for attractions and tours - each at $10 off - for family members under 18.

The $320 million scheme, announced in August, is the first national digital-only voucher programme to be rolled out by the Government.

Providing details on the redemption process yesterday, Singapore Tourism Board (STB) chief executive Keith Tan described the development of the scheme as a monumental task.

"We have designed the redemption process to be safe, easy and inclusive for all Singaporeans, and we hope that they will take this opportunity to support tourism businesses while rediscovering what they love about Singapore," he said at a media briefing.

The vouchers, part of a domestic campaign to keep Singapore's struggling tourism sector afloat, can be spent on approved hotels, attractions and tours, but cannot be redeemed for cruises, retail shop purchases or food and beverage, unless as part of a bundled package.

Eligible products will be marked on the booking platforms with the SingapoRediscovers Vouchers icon, STB said yesterday.

After selecting a product, users will have the option of using the vouchers - which come in deno-minations of $10 - at the check-out page.

While SingPass verification is used to prevent fraud, data will not be shared with external booking partners, STB said.

Those who find it difficult to use digital vouchers can visit any of the 69 physical counters set up across the island for assistance.

Most will be located at community centres or within a five-minute walk from them, STB said. Booking counters will also be available at selected malls and SingPost locations.

The vouchers are non-transferable, STB said, adding that it takes a serious view of abuses such as fraud, profiteering and resale of the vouchers.

Those who abuse the scheme may have their vouchers forfeited, and may even be referred to the police, it said.

The tourism board will also keep a lookout for price hikes and other unethical business practices.

Errant merchants and booking partners face penalties, including removal from the programme, it said.

More than 200 merchants have signed up to offer products for redemption thus far.

A bicycle tour of the Pulau Ubin rainforest and Chek Jawa Wetlands, as well as hotel stays bundled with attraction tickets are among options that will be available for booking.

More deals will be rolled out through next June, Mr Tan said, urging Singaporeans not to rush to use the vouchers.

STB said it appointed third-party booking sites as redemption platforms to include as many merchants as possible and to ensure sound cyber security practices.

"The intent is really to help represent hundreds of these tourism businesses at scale, and a lot of the small merchants who may not have their own booking system. This is the fastest way to get it up and the most wide-reaching to be inclusive of all these businesses," a spokesman said.

The platforms also add value by providing physical booking counters, additional marketing resources and services such as shuttle buses for seniors, STB said.

Each of the five booking sites will have different offerings, giving consumers a similar experience to shopping for a holiday, it added.

What to read next: Who will get SingapoRediscovers Vouchers and what can you do with them

For more ideas on how to use the SingapoRediscover Vouchers, go to the SG Go Where microsite.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 24, 2020, with the headline 'Redeem tourism vouchers online from Dec 1'. Subscribe