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Rediscovering Singapore’s Sights and Sounds – STB unveils second phase of exciting and enriching Tourism50 celebrations

April 15, 2014 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) today launched its second wave of events and activities to commemorate 50 years of tourism development and promotion. Themed as Rediscover, events and activities under this phase are designed to encourage local residents to rediscover the tourism sights and sounds of Singapore.

Running from April to October, Rediscover will feature something for everyone. ForRediscover, local tourism enterprises are offering events and activities from the Arts, Attractions, Cruise and Sports industries:

–     Carnival-style events: those looking for wholesome fun for the entire family can head for Eggy Day Out @ Jurong Bird Park, the kick-off event for theRediscover phase that is taking place from 18 to 20 April, and  a two-day cruise extravaganza in July that will showcase new cruise products and experiences;

–     Behind-the-Scenes tours: those seeking something more enriching can watch out for Behind-the-Scenes tours that offer insights into the everyday life of people working in the tourism sector. One such example is the Preserving Memories – Heritage Conservation Centre Tours in June, which show how cultural artefacts and artworks are maintained and cared for at the Heritage Conservation Centre even before they are put on display at local museums.Another example is the Singapore Cable Car Back-of-House Tour, which showcases to the public, for the very first time, how the smooth operation of Singapore’s only cableway is maintained. For those keen to walk on the wild side, River Safari’s Fishy Business and Be A Panda Researcher and Singapore Zoo’s Animals in the Pink and Spineless & Successful will provide a valuable glimpse into the work involved taking care of animals;

–       Sports-oriented events and activities: sports enthusiasts can look forward to Our Athletics – Up Close in September, a series of guided tours of the new National Stadium and Singapore Sports Museum at the soon-to-be-opened Singapore Sports Hub.  For an added touch of insight, these tours will be led by local sports celebrities. Also happening in September are a suite of F1 community programmes, details of which will be shared at a later date; and

–    Art, Heritage & Architecture talks and guided tours: for those interested in getting themselves acquainted with the local arts scene, they can deepen their knowledge and appreciation through the free talks conducted by Art Outreach Singapore, a non-profit arts organisation, on local artists such as Georgette Chen and Liu Kang. There will also be an architectural tour of the National Museum of Singapore that will include an exclusive view of the iconic rotunda and dome.

Through the diverse range of Rediscover events and activities, STB hopes to encourage locals to reacquaint themselves with the charms of familiar attractions. In doing so, they can also create new memories with friends and loved ones, as well as build a better understanding and appreciation of the work and passion of the tourism workforce.

“We are encouraged by the positive response by local residents to the first phase of our commemorative events and activities. It attests to the strong interest across all generations in our local heritage and attractions. With our second phase, Rediscover,we hope that the programme of events and activities will further inspire passion amongst locals for tourism developments,” said Ms Melissa Ow, Assistant Chief Executive, Experience Development Group, STB, at the media launch of Tourism50Rediscover  phase at Jurong Bird Park today.

Ms Ow was joined by representatives from a few of the Rediscover partners: Ms Isabel Cheng, Chief Marketing Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore; Mr Sam Lee, Director, Island Business, Sentosa Leisure Management; Ms Mae Anderson, Chairman, Art Outreach Singapore; and Ms Hairani Joshi, Director, Singapore Sports Museum. Also present at the event was Mr James Wong, General Manager, Singapore Athletic Association, and former national athlete. Mr Wong is one of the sports celebrities leading the Our Athletics – Up Close guided tours.

 “Singapore Zoo and Jurong Bird Park stand among the oldest and more established attractions in Singapore which have witnessed tourism development through the years. We have also evolved with the tourism scene and introduced a new park this year, River Safari,” said Ms Isabel Cheng, Chief Marketing Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore. “To celebrate the 50 years of tourism development, WRS will showcase rarely seen facets of our parks and invite Singapore residents to rediscover places where they may think they are familiar with. They will be pleasantly surprised with offerings like Eggy Day Out and our behind-the-scenes tours.”

On offering art talks and tours in celebration of Tourism50, Art Outreach Chairman Ms Anderson explained, “As Singapore develops itself as a global arts destination, it is important that we also nurture a strong appreciation for the works of our local artists. Singapore’s history, cultural diversity and development have been documented through the works of many local artists and in many art forms. The art talks and tours by Art Outreach will explore this rich heritage and offer novel perspectives and unexpected discoveries that will help build this appreciation.”

Ms Joshi, Director of Singapore Sports Museum, agreed. She opined, “It takes a good storyteller to bring a piece of art or a place of interest alive. That is why we have brought on-board local sports personalities to lead the tours of our two new exciting venues – the new National Stadium and the Singapore Sports Museum in Sports Hub- because each of them will share their own personal narratives and present the story of Singapore’s sporting history through a different lens. We hope that the Our Athletes – Up Close programme will evoke the passion of sports reminiscent of the Kallang Roar and inspire new heights for the sporting endeavours of our nation.”

Besides the slew of events and activities happening during Rediscover, a number of attractions on Sentosa Island, Forest Adventure, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore Flyer, and Wild Wild Wet at Downtown East are also offering promotions such as free admission and special discounts to encourage local residents to visit and spend quality time with their families and friends.
Mr Lee, Director of Island Business at Sentosa Leisure Management, commented, “Many Singaporeans grew up with fond memories of their experiences on Sentosa. Over the decades, our island resort has undergone massive transformation with so much more for everyone to see and do on the island today. Sentosa is delighted to be a part of the Tourism50 celebration and we would like to take this opportunity to invite local residents, both the young and young at heart, to bring their families and friends to experience the many fun and exciting attractions and activities on the island. We have a wide range of offerings available – from heritage, to nature and even thrill rides, which the whole family can choose from. We welcome everyone to come visit and create new fun memories on Sentosa.”

Rediscover is a part of STB’s three-phased plan to reach out to the local residents. The first phase – Reminisce was launched in March and focused on connecting with locals emotionally by bringing back memories of longstanding local tourism attractions and raising awareness and appreciation of these places, especially amongst the younger generation. The first event, Reliving Haw Par Villa, received overwhelming response from the public, with over 13,000 persons visiting during two weekends.

“We would also like to express appreciation to those who have written letters recently to provide their views and suggestions on Haw Par Villa. We are heartened by the enthusiasm of Singaporeans in sharing their perspectives on how to restore the park,” added Ms Ow.

Another event that was held during the Reminisce phase – the free ‘Singapore Through the Years’ heritage coach tours organised by the Society of Tourist Guides (Singapore) in conjunction with the International Tourist Guides Day and Tourism50 – also enjoyed a good turnout. A total of 945 persons signed up for the tours conducted by volunteer tourist guides to discover interesting stories behind some of Singapore’s noteworthy landmarks.

The third phase of Tourism50 commemoration events – Celebrate – will feature festive light-ups and events to bring the year of commemoration to a close and set the mood for the celebration of Singapore 50 next year. More details will be announced at a later date.

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