Singapore Tourism Board launches new Experience Step-Up Fund with calls for proposals for tour development and technology initiatives
Singapore, 18 August 2015 – The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has launched a new S$10 million Experience Step-Up Fund (ESF) under its Tourism Product Development Scheme. The fund aims to encourage businesses to develop new tourism experiences that will enhance overall visitor experience and satisfaction in Singapore. In conjunction with the launch of the new Fund, the Board is also calling for proposals for tour development and technology initiatives.
"Increasingly, travellers are seeking varied and engaging experiences that allow them to gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of our stories and heritage. They're not just going for run-of-the-mill city tours but unique ones like back-of-house visits, precinct or interest-based tours," said Ms Choo Huei Miin, Director of Visitor Experience and Capability Development, STB. "Through the ESF, which is underpinned by STB's Quality Tourism strategy, we aim to spur tourism businesses to create and deliver more and better experiential offerings that add to Singapore's overall destination attractiveness. Tourism businesses are also encouraged to adopt innovative technology solutions to up their game."
Ms Susan Ang, Divisional Director, Island Investment and Branding, Sentosa Development Corporation, commented on how the ESF could benefit Singapore's famous resort island: "Sentosa is constantly looking at ways to improve its operations, services and infrastructure, to enhance the experiences of our guests on the island. We believe that the introduction of this new scheme by STB will be helpful to our many partners on the island, as they would have the opportunity to tap on this funding to enhance their offerings and ultimately, create a more dynamic and memorable experience for all our visitors."
Robinsons is considering tapping on the new Fund to bring a new dimension to shoppers' experience.
"Robinsons is a longstanding, home-grown department store with over 150 years of history in Singapore. We would like to share our rich brand heritage and story with our shoppers by establishing a Robinsons heritage gallery at our flagship store at The Heeren. STB's new Experience Step-Up Fund will be helpful for retailers or malls intending to embark on such initiatives as they will enrich our consumers' shopping experience while building stronger brand affinity with them," said Christophe Cann, Group Managing Director, Robinsons.
Call for Proposals for Tour Development and Technology Initiatives
Singapore Registered Businesses can submit their proposals for tour development and technology initiatives from now till 5 February 2016. STB will hold bi-monthly evaluation cycles in October 2015, December 2015 and February 2016. Applications are to reach STB by the 5th of the month of the evaluation cycle. Examples of projects that can be supported include the following:
Call for Proposal for Tour Development
- New precinct tours
- Interests-based tours (e.g. culinary, nature, sports and education)
- Back-of-house tours
- Tours to discover hidden gems
Call for Proposal for Technology Initiatives
- Technology solutions that:
- enhance the overall visitors' experience within attractions and precincts in a deeper and more engaging manner e.g. interactive storytelling and better or more interesting way-finding
- increase visitors' awareness and avail them of post-arrival information easily, with recommendations on activities and experiences
- are impactful and/or innovative; serving to create a memorable and differentiated experience for visitors e.g. new technologies with personalisation options, virtual/augmented reality assistants, etc.
Applicants will be evaluated by STB against a set of evaluation criteria such as innovativeness and potential to attract visitors, as well as long-term sustainability of the proposal amongst others. Successful applicants could receive funding support of up to 70 per cent of qualifying costs.
More details will be shared at the STB's industry briefing session on 4 September 2015. Information on the industry briefing session is available here.
Other projects supported under ESF
Besides supporting tour development and technology initiatives, the ESF also helps businesses to improve amenities and infrastructure at existing attractions, precincts and retail malls to provide a better visitor experience.
Interested parties can visit the Grants page for more information on the Experience Step-Up Fund or other STB assistance schemes.
Please refer to Annex A for the Experience Step-Up Fund factsheet and Annex B for an illustration of various STB assistance schemes. – End –
 Quality Tourism is a model of tourism development that emphasises strong economic contribution, innovative and productive enterprises and local engagement.
About the Singapore Tourism Board
The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is a leading economic development agency in tourism, one of Singapore's key service sectors. Known for partnership, innovation and excellence, STB champions tourism, making it a key economic driver for Singapore. We aim to differentiate and market Singapore as a must-visit destination offering a concentration of user-centric and enriching experiences through the "YourSingapore" brand. For more information, please visit www.stb.gov.sg or www.yoursingapore.com.