Initial assistance includes licence fee waivers and help with cleaning costs
Singapore, 2 February 2020 – As the first step in a wider set of measures to help tourism businesses mitigate the immediate impact of the 2019 novel coronavirus (“nCoV”), STB announced that it will waive licence fees for hotels, travel agents and tourist guides, and defray enhanced cleaning costs of hotels that provided accommodation to confirmed and suspected cases of nCoV infections.
The tourism sector has already been directly affected by nCoV, due to a decline in visitor arrivals, especially from China. Chinese tourists account for around 20 per cent of Singapore’s total international visitor arrivals, with about 3.6 million visitors to Singapore in 2019.
Mr Keith Tan, Chief Executive of Singapore Tourism Board said: “Over the past week, STB has been in close contact with our tourism partners to understand their difficulties and to assess the impact. We know the situation is likely to persist, and recognise we need to move quickly to support the industry and build confidence. STB will continue to identify targeted and effective ways to support the tourism industry so that they are well-positioned to grow swiftly once we start to recover.”
As part of this initial package, hotels that provided accommodation to suspected and confirmed cases of nCoV infections will get help with their environmental cleaning and disinfection costs. STB will cover up to 50 per cent of third-party professional cleaning fees, capped at $20,000 per establishment for hotels with confirmed cases; and $10,000 per establishment for hotels with suspected cases. This will be backdated to 23 Jan, when the first case of nCoV infection in Singapore was detected. Applications will open between 10 Feb and 30 April, following which STB will assess the situation to see if further support is required. Hotels can email STB_Incentives@stb.gov.sg for more information.
The Hotels Licensing Board will waive licence fees for hotels for the rest of 2020. Applicants can email HLB_Secretariat@hlb.gov.sg. Similarly, travel agents and tourist guides whose licenses are due for renewal in 2020 will not need to pay to renew their licence fees.
Full details of the overall package of relief measures will be announced at Budget 2020 on 18 Feb.
For media queries, please contact:
|Ms Kimberly Spykerman
Singapore Tourism Board
Tel: +65 6831 3608
|Ms Audrey Kang
Singapore Tourism Board
Tel: +65 6831 3567
Or call the STB Media Hotline at +65 9011 2071
About the Singapore Tourism Board
The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is the lead development agency for tourism, one of Singapore’s key economic sectors. Together with industry partners and the community, we shape a dynamic Singapore tourism landscape. We bring the Passion Made Possible brand to life by differentiating Singapore as a vibrant destination that inspires people to share and deepen their passions.