SINGAPORE - 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 on Monday (Nov 23), 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 on Monday.
After selecting a product, users will have the option of using the vouchers – which come in denominations 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.
From Dec 1, users can check their SingapoRediscovers voucher balance and activate child/youth subsidies at this website.
All eligible Singapore citizens will receive a letter by then with information about the redemption process, 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.
Asked why there is no unified booking platform, the spokesman explained that it was because the different booking platforms have different focuses and commercial terms.
Booking sites are expected to promote a diversity of merchants, the tourism board said, adding that listing arrangements will be worked out directly between platforms and merchants.
Merchants will have to pay a commission to the booking platforms, STB said, adding that it helped to secure a “much lower range of commission rates” for all merchants, though it declined to disclose the range. This will not result in extra fees for consumers, it added.
For more information, visit this website.
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.