As technology shifts the scope of competition global, Singapore has mapped out several massive developments for tourism across the island that are part of a plan to secure growth in the immediate- to long term.
Speaking at the Tourism Industry Conference on Tuesday (April 16), Singapore Tourism Board’s (STB) chief executive Keith Tan emphasised that Singapore must take a ‘forward-leaning’ approach and gear up for future tourism growth.
Part of STB’s strategy is to “spread out its tourism offerings across different parts of Singapore”.
Among the new announcements is the plan for a new waterfront tourism development in the western Jurong Lake District, with the rejuvenated precinct to be positioned as a second ‘central business district’.
The tourism development, comprising attractions, hotel and other lifestyle offerings such as food and beverage and retail, will be ready from 2026. It will be adjacent to newly refreshed attractions Jurong Lake Gardens and Singapore Science Centre.
In Mandai, the trio of nature attractions Singapore Zoo, Night Safari and River Safari will be rejuvenated to improve guests experience through digital technology. Also upcoming is the Mandai eco-tourism hub that will include the new Bird Park and Rainforest Park, to be opened in stages over the next four years.
Also announced was an innovation scheme to attract new technologies, ideas and concepts to Sentosa to improve areas such as accessibility, tourism experiences, sustainability and digital technologies.
“There continues to be signs of confidence in Singapore’s tourism sector over the longer term. There is a strong pipeline of investments into hotels, attractions and other tourism infrastructure,” said Tan.
Earlier this month, a S$9 billion (US$6,65 billion) expansion plan was announced for Singapore’s two integrated resorts Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa that will add hotel, entertainment venues and attractions.
In the short term, Singapore remains confident in the “tremendous” growth potential “even if the tourism sector encounters occasional downturns”, said Tan.
Over the past three years, Singapore has enjoyed consecutive record arrivals growth, with 18.5 million visitors in 2018.
Currently, Singapore’s visitor mix comprises one-third of regional visitors from South-east Asia, one-third from China and North-east Asia, and the remaining one-third from the rest of the world.
STB expects to continue tapping into the emerging economies in Asia Pacific while cultivating its more established markets through several new partnerships.
STB has inked a partnership with online travel platform Traveloka that will enable it to target regional travellers from five major markets with relevant products and experiences.
It will launch at least 12 marketing campaigns, targeted at travellers from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. Traveloka’s platforms will also increase offerings of Singapore attractions and activities by 15%.
Also unveiled was a partnership with Alibaba Group to drive visitor arrivals and spending from China, currently its largest market in terms of arrivals and spending.
The new partnership will help STB target young families and post-90s young professionals, who use its platforms like Alipay, Fliggy, Youku and Damai to browse, book and manage travel.
Earlier in February, STB also signed a partnership with Busan Metropolitan City in South Korea to roll out activities to attract South Korean travellers.
Another major focus is technology initiatives for tourism businesses. A series of workshops, talks and masterclasses will be offered under its newly-launched Tech College initiative, bolstering its existing range for hotels, travel agents, marketing and data and technology.