In August, the Singapore government announced that Singaporeans would be given S$320 million in tourism credits to spend domestically, in an effort to encourage Singaporeans to explore Singapore’s local culture, heritage, nature, art and architecture.
Few details were known at the time about these so-called SingapoRediscovers Vouchers, but Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing today (at the Jurong Bird Park, no less!) unveiled some additional details.
Here’s the quick take:
- Each adult Singaporean (aged 18 and above) to receive S$100 each
- No minimum spend required
- Vouchers valid from December 2020 to June 2021
- Valid at all STB-approved hotels, attractions and tours
How much SingapoRediscovers Vouchers will I get?
Each adult Singaporean (aged 18 and above) will receive S$100 in SingapoRediscovers Vouchers, split into 10 x S$10.
While children are not eligible for these vouchers, adult Singaporeans will be able to purchase up to six subsidized tickets (S$10 off) for attractions and tours on behalf of those under 18.
These vouchers will only be available to Singapore citizens; permanent residents will not be eligible.
When will I get my SingapoRediscovers Vouchers?
Vouchers will be made available via SingPass from December 2020, and can be used up till June 2021. Further details on redemption will be provided in November.
Where can SingapoRediscovers Vouchers be used?
SingapoRediscovers Vouchers can be used at all licensed hotels, leisure attractions and tour operations that have received STB approval to reopen. There are currently 214 hotels, 40 attractions and 81 tour operators which hold such status.
I have to say, I’m very surprised that hotels were included in the list, given how the staycation market is booming and hotels have already received substantial government assistance via the SHN program.
The ideal outcome here (from the point of view of the economy, at least) would be for people to spend their credits over multiple visits, generating more opportunities for ancillary spending. A hotel night easily costs more than S$200, which means a single staycation could capture the entirety of the value.
But I suppose this is welcome news, if you’re someone who prefers lazing by the pool over breakfast with Ah Meng. Now, can these vouchers be used for flights to nowhere?
Is there any minimum spend requirement?
No. Vouchers can be used just like cash, with no minimum spend required. In Chan Chun Sing’s words:
“We’ll expect a certain multiplier effect because when people come here, they will also spend on other things. We have kept the scheme relatively simple. So for example, they can use this to pay off the tickets or defer the cost of the tickets for coming in. But when they come in, they will spend on some of the F&B and other services that the attractions, hotels or the tours provide.”
Attraction capacity to be increased from 25% to 50%
Ever since tourist attractions opened in Phase 2, operators have had to cap their capacity at 25% of maximum occupanncy. With COVID-19 community transmission rates remaining low, the MTI has decided to increase the cap to 50%, subject to approval.
Attraction operators can also apply for approval to scale up capacity at outdoor events to 250 people from the current 50. This will be done by creating five zones of 50 people each. Perhaps there might be some hope yet for some in-person KrisFlyer Experiences this year?
S$100 per person is more or less the figure I calculated last month, based on the S$320 million kitty and number of Singapore citizens.
While I’m surprised that the credits can be used for staycations too, I’m certainly not complaining. If nothing else, these SingapoRediscovers will make for a nice weekend out- and hopefully generate some multiplier effect that will help preserve jobs in the hospitality and tourism fields.
As mentioned, expect to hear more details about redeeming and using the vouchers come November.