The Singapore Tourism Board (STB), together with various government agencies, precinct associations and private stakeholders, convene in a coordinated effort to spearhead, develop and implement various place-making initiatives, such as festivals, marketing initiatives and infrastructure improvements, with the aim to improve visitor experience and inject vibrancy to bring the precincts to life.
Some of the tourism precincts championed by STB are:
STB’s vision for Chinatown is to create a visitor experience that is immersed in Singapore’s heritage and to constantly present new experiences at every turn, in order to bring out an eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary offerings. This would then enable visitors to experience first-hand the evolution of the precinct and its unique multi-cultural heritage. This entails improving both hardware (e.g. physical assets such as the Street Market, Chinatown Heritage Centre, and the Food Street) and software (e.g. place manager capabilities, service training, and marketing initiatives).
A large part of STB’s work takes place with the Chinatown Business Association (CBA) and the Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng Citizen’s Consultative Committee (KAKSCCC) to organise festive celebrations, form business collaborations, and address issues for the betterment of the surrounding citizens and businesses, so as to drive sustainable precinct development in Chinatown.
Local engagement and public feedback are also crucial, especially in revitalising the Chinatown Food Street, where STB and CBA turned to Singaporeans to get a sense of how the Food Street could be re-imagined.
Little India has grown organically as a focal point of Indian culture. The area is a vibrant enclave for Singapore's Indian community and a showcase of Singapore's ethnic diversity. It is a living heritage of cultural authenticity and an eclectic mix of the old and new. STB's approach to Little India is to bring out the distinctive character and stories of the precinct, while preserving its roots. This in turn will enhance visitor experience for both tourists and locals.
STB works closely with the Little India Shopkeepers and Heritage Association (LISHA) to organise placemaking initiatives such as festivals and marketing initiatives. From a fledgling association, LISHA today organises many festivals in Little India, such as the Deepavali Light Up, Deepavali Festival Village, Pongal Festival, and Tamil New Year Celebrations.
One of the main projects to round off the Little India experience is the Indian Heritage Centre (IHC) that is due for inauguration in 2015. Together with the pedestrianisation of Campbell Lane, this will be the new focal point of Little India for interested visitors to learn more about the Indian diaspora story, with event space for programming and showcasing fresh content.
Over the years, STB has been working closely with Orchard Road Business Association (ORBA) to develop Orchard Road into a multi-dimensional lifestyle destination that offers exceptional experiences, including outstanding dining and entertainment offerings, unique pedestrian ambience and world class events. This is achieved by enhancing the distinctive character and identity of Orchard Road, building a sense of community among stakeholders that fosters a strong sense of commitment and belonging, and ensuring sustainability in the development and betterment of our precincts through greater private sector involvement.
Orchard Road has a distinct personality strengthened by signature events such as Christmas Light-Up @ Orchard, Fashion Steps Out @ Orchard and Rev-Up @ Orchard.
Through the creation of precinct-wide events and activities, business development, promotion and marketing, STB works hand in hand with ORBA in enhancing Orchard Road into a distinctive, must-visit lifestyle destination in Singapore.
Orchard Road has garnered many accolades, including “The Most Beautiful Avenue of the World” by International Presence Survey 2012, “World’s Best Holiday Lights” by Frommers, and “Top 10 Christmas Markets of the World” by Lonely Planet in 2011.
The Sentosa Harbourfront is a new precinct championed by STB. The stakeholders at the Sentosa Harbourfront precinct have recently come together to form the Sentosa Harbourfront Business Association (SHBA), to promote collaboration and sharing of best practices amongst the members, as well as to develop the precinct as an integrated waterfront lifestyle destination for business and leisure.
With SHBA pledging to invest S$3 million in the next 3 to 5 years into integrated marketing campaigns to promote the precinct as part of their work plans, STB is working closely with the newly formed SHBA to strengthen their competencies through the development and execution of their work plan that can enhance the appeal of the precinct. This includes working with the team in the creation of new precinct-wide events such as the inaugural Easter Celebration Event.
Supporting our other cultural and lifestyle precincts
STB also collaborates with other precinct associations and government agencies in the development of cultural and lifestyle precincts such as Kampong Gelam, Katong/Joo Chiat, Singapore River, Marina Bay, Civic District and Bras Basah Bugis, in order to maximise the full tourism potential through software and programming (e.g. leisure events).
Each precinct has its unique characteristics. STB works closely with key precinct champions and content providers to profile the precincts through differentiated leisure events that attract visitors and increase spending. Such collaborations include supporting precinct associations such as Singapore River One (SRO) in organising the inaugural Christmas by the River event as well as working with the Marina Bay Singapore Countdown event organisers (URA & Esplanade) to explore new ways to augment the countdown as a key year-end celebration for regional visitors.
In the case of the Bras Basah Bugis precinct, STB took efforts to conserve and redevelop Bugis Street Market into an iconic street shopping location and tourist attraction. Trishaw tours were also introduced to offer an alternative means of experiencing the sights and sounds of the heritage precinct.
Another area of STB's work includes the upkeep of our tourism assets such as the Merlion, Raffles statues and the People of the River series sculptures by leveraging our assets to bring our rich precinct stories to life.