Staycation, F&B deals rolled out to drive local spending

Visitors at Merlion Park (above) last month and shoppers at Raffles City Shopping Centre (left) yesterday. The newly launched $45 million campaign aims to help prop up tourism-dependent businesses with local demand.
Visitors at Merlion Park on June 10, 2020.ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

Offerings listed on SingapoRediscovers site, with more to come over next nine months

Dining and staycation deals are among the 80 promotions that have been created for local residents on the new SingapoRediscovers microsite, with more to be added over the next nine months.

Precincts such as Chinatown and Little India will also be marketed as destinations for locals to rediscover, with walking tours and neighbourhood guidebooks that include shopping and entertainment options in the area.

These are among the plans for a $45 million campaign that was launched yesterday to help prop up tourism-dependent businesses with local demand.

Island admission to Sentosa will be waived until Sept 30, Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) said in a joint statement with the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Enterprise Singapore, the three agencies spearheading the campaign to drive local spending.

Staycation packages with themed itineraries will be rolled out at the end of this month, SDC said. About 80 per cent of attractions and hotels on the island have reopened thus far.

The Singapore Food Festival and Great Singapore Sale will be going digital-only for the first time this year, with promotions and virtual events.

Several food and beverage campaigns will also be launched in the coming months to support eateries and bars, and drive patronage during off-peak times.

STB's marketing blitz will include tie-ups with travel booking platforms Expedia and Klook, as well as interest groups and trade associations.

There have been previous campaigns to boost domestic tourism, such as in the wake of the severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak in 2003.

Visitors at Merlion Park (above) last month and shoppers at Raffles City Shopping Centre (left) yesterday. The newly launched $45 million campaign aims to help prop up tourism-dependent businesses with local demand.
Visitors at Raffles City Shopping Centre on July 22, 2020. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

But the $45 million to be pooled by the three agencies for SingapoRediscovers' various marketing initiatives is the most spent on a domestic campaign to date.

 
 
 
 

The amount also represents a "sizeable portion" of what the STB spends on international marketing on an average year, its chief executive Keith Tan said.

It is appropriate as the current crisis will require a long-drawn-out effort to avoid "catastrophic" job losses and push the sector towards recovery, he said.

Singaporeans spent over $34 billion on overseas travel in 2018, and the goal is to channel a sliver of their unused travel budget for this year to local businesses, Mr Tan said ahead of the campaign launch.

"So, the amount of money that you would spend overseas on a holiday, say, year end you go to Japan or Thailand or Taiwan, spend a fraction of that here in Singapore instead," he urged.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 23, 2020, with the headline 'Staycation, F&B deals rolled out to drive local spending'. Print Edition | Subscribe