A$90-MILLION package to boost the tourist industry has been planned.
It is great to learn that the Government is spending to stimulate the industry and help it to ride out what will undoubtedly be a tough year.
I highly commend the efforts of the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) in promoting Singapore as a world-class destination.
It has lined up exciting events to woo regional tourists, such as the Anime Festival Asia and the inaugural Clean Energy Expo Asia.
In order to target the domestic market, STB has worked closely with the Singapore Retailers Association and was able to persuade some retailers to waive GST charges on weekends from Feb 14 to March 1.
STB is also working with the Jurong BirdPark, Sentosa and the Singapore Flyer to offer good deals at these attractions by giving out 2,009 free tickets each for this and next weekend.
Stimulating domestic spending is still an important marketing strategy, which needs to be carried through the long term.
As it will have a multiplier effect which can give the domestic economy a boost, it is especially crucial during this downturn.
Singapore has a population of about four million. About a quarter are foreigners.
If every Singaporean and foreign resident visited the attractions here, it would add considerably to their popularity and revenue.
I understand that foreign workers might find the entrance fees to tourist attractions steep.
Therefore, I suggest that STB work together with the Singapore Zoo, Jurong BirdPark and the Singapore Flyer to slash admission rates by half for at least a year.
Foreign workers would be the best ambassadors for Singapore's unique attractions, spreading the word to their friends and family back home.
STB could also work with public-transport operators to increase the supply of buses between attractions and housing estates to make visiting the attractions more convenient for residents.
Mr Teo Kueh Liang
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