Singapore to roll out scheme to boost tourism


SINGAPORE – Singapore will roll out a multi-million-dollar plan to secure market demand and build capabilities in the tourism sector, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said on Monday.

The STB said the plan named “Building On Opportunities to Strengthen Tourism (BOOST)” will be worth 90 million Singapore dollars (about 60 million U.S. dollars).

The key initiative under BOOST will be a campaign with the theme “2009 Reasons to Enjoy Singapore”, the STB said, adding that travel patterns are expected to change in the current climate with a switch from long haul to shorter haul trips.

The STB will also increase its support to strengthen bids to attract events to Singapore over the next two years, and offer more help in training and upgrading the skills for local employees in the tourism industry.

The STB forecasted total visitor arrivals to be in the range of 9 to 9.5 million in 2009, a decline of 6 to 11 percent on year. The total tourism receipts generated is expected to fall around 15to 18 percent in 2009.

In 2008, Singapore posted a record of 14.8 billion Singapore dollars (about 9.8 billion U.S. dollars) in tourism receipts, tourist arrivals registered 10.1 million visitors.