The SingapoRediscovers Vouchers scheme has been extended to the end of this year, six months beyond its June deadline.
Speaking to reporters at the launch of an art exhibition at Gardens by the Bay yesterday, Minister of State for Trade and Industry Alvin Tan said the extension will give Singaporeans more time to explore the local attractions here. "It is opportune because it allows Singaporeans to space out visits to all of the different attractions in the midst of the pandemic to reduce unnecessary crowding."
The $320 million scheme was announced last August to drive local spending at hotels, attractions and tours as the tourism sector was battered by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Under it, Singaporeans aged 18 and above are each given $100 worth of credits to spend, which comes in denominations of $10.
The scheme was originally planned to last from December last year to the end of next month.
With the extension, products that are valid from July 1 can be purchased from June 1, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said.
The vouchers, which can be accessed via SingPass, can be redeemed online through five authorised booking partners: Changi Recommends, GlobalTix, Klook & UOB Travel Planners, Traveloka and Trip.com.
In a statement yesterday, STB said that over a million adult Singapore citizens have used their vouchers at least once, making a total of 1.3 million transactions.
The scheme has contributed over $200 million to Singapore's tourism-related businesses, consisting of about $147 million in vouchers and out-of-pocket payments on tourism bookings, and another $55 million in additional spending in retail, food and beverage, and transport.
Attraction bookings made up more than half of all SingapoRediscovers Vouchers transactions, and hotel bookings have seen the highest transaction revenue of about $80 million.
STB chief executive Keith Tan also said improvements have been made to the voucher scheme, following feedback from the public.
Concerns over the redemption process surfaced last year, with consumers saying the lack of a centralised site was inconvenient, and that the online redemption process would deter the less tech-savvy elderly from redeeming them.
STB said that from the third quarter of this year, those who are unable to access their SingPass accounts can visit over 30 community centres to redeem the vouchers using their identity card.
It will also enhance the website for the scheme to feature monthly deals from all five authorised booking partners, as well as information on various initiatives that allow people to donate their vouchers.
Plans are also in place to enhance the redemption process, including working with attractions to make it easier for users to book time slots for their visits, as well as providing redemption counters at attraction locations. The first of these counters is located at the Sentosa Express VivoCity station, which will be open from 9am to 6pm daily.