SINGAPORE - Local walking, cycling and kayaking tours may now accommodate up to 10 participants, double the previous limit.
As five remains the current limit for public gatherings, however, groups that exceed this must be split into two, with no intermingling allowed, according to updated guidelines for tour operators published by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) on Tuesday (July 28).
Other guidelines include limiting tours to a maximum of eight hours and using portable audio systems with individual headsets to communicate with participants during the tour.
For tours that involve transport, capacity must be capped at 50 people - or the operating capacity of the conveyance - whichever is lower, after the implementation of safe management measures.
The allowance for larger tour groups comes amid a newly-launched campaign to encourage locals to prop up tourism businesses, as well as low numbers of Covid-19 community cases.
Tour operators and tourist guides have been allowed to resume operations from this month, subject to approval from the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
The STB told The Straits Times that it has received 47 applications so far, of which 36 have been approved to go ahead with their submitted tour itineraries and schedules.
There are currently 2,990 licensed tourist guides and more than 30 tour operators in Singapore.
"While the updated guidelines allow for increased group size and longer tours, tour operators must still comply with all prevailing safe management measures," the STB said.
It added that it will continue to step up checks as tours resume, and non-compliance with the rules may result in fines, prosecution, an order to cease operating and the suspension or revocation of licenses.
The tourism board, together with Enterprise Singapore and Sentosa Development Corporation, launched a $45 million campaign last week to drive local spending at eateries, shops and leisure attractions, which have been badly hit by temporary closures and a tourist drought.
The SingapoRediscovers campaign includes staycation deals and other promotions, such as tours of Singapore's heritage precincts, kelongs and sites with eerie legends.