Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 04/01/2013 07:21 | By Channel NewsAsia

S'pore attractions must rejuvenate to increase tourism yield

S'pore attractions must rejuvenate to increase tourism yield


S'pore attractions must rejuvenate to increase tourism yield

SINGAPORE: The government has said that the next phase of tourism growth would have to come from increasing the yield through visitor spending instead of just visitor numbers. Second Minister for Trade and Industry S Iswaran added that tourism arrivals cannot continue to grow indefinitely due to land and manpower constraints. Increasingly, tourism industry players like CTC Travel have already begun to plan its inbound travel packages more creatively as it has been seeing a growing number of requests from tourists seeking for a different Singapore experience. Sylvia Tan, vice-president of channel distribution at CTC Travel, said: "We have actually developed and launched our product brand called Singapore Deep where visitors can get to experience Singapore in a very different way. For example, they can experience the gourmet in Singapore - have a feel of the walk and the talk to understand how bak kut teh comes about before they get to actually savour the dish. They get to learn about our chicken rice, nasi lemak. We find that it is really great and they understand the true story of the whole origin."  "We have also seen more groups coming to Singapore to take up English language courses - whether it's for business or just conversational skills. And by coming for these courses, they also spend on leisure and shopping. There was also a Japanese group who came in to learn the art and skills about manicure and pedicure," she added. Some industry experts said the Singapore experience should be enhanced to draw more visitors.  "We know that we are unique but we haven't quite drilled down that essence and it would be great if we can find a way to amalgamate the combination of our culture, heritage, tradition and the quirky little things that make us who we are and to spin this national narrative in a way that belongs to everybody," said Walter Lim, vice-chairman of Association of Singapore Attractions.  Lim added: "Once we have got this story put together, then it's how the various tourist destinations and attractions could interpret and tell their part of their story. For example, each attraction could be different chapters of a book. Once you have that in place, then attractions could differentiate themselves through their own branded storytelling mixed with a rich immersive experience. We can then look at merchandising opportunities because traditionally attractions rely on ticketing as the main revenue generating engine. "If you look at first world cities like Paris - you know there's something Parisian about their attractions such as The Eiffel Tower, The Louvre and the Notre Dame Cathedral. That doesn't mean that every attraction is the same. They all have their own uniqueness but at the same time there's something that binds them together. So the challenge for us is to find a common base or denominator that we can latch on to?"  Mr Lim added that attractions should provide various elements to generate revenue. "If you visit the River Safari which is about to open, you could just buy a ticket and you go in the safari to walk. But if you want an additional experience, you could go for a river ride on the boat.  That would cost you a little more but that could offer a slightly different dimension to the experience." He added that attractions must refresh themselves regularly to enjoy repeat visits from both tourists and locals. - CNA/fa

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