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Singapore celebrates 50 years of tourism development and promotion

March 6, 2014 Tourist Boards No Comments Email Email

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) today unveiled a series of events and activities to commemorate 50 years of tourism development and promotion in Singapore this year.

Through a three-phased plan – Reminisce, Rediscover, Celebrate – to reach out to the local residents, STB hopes to raise awareness and appreciation of past and present tourism developments, encourage public interest and participation, and celebrate the journey to the next phase of development for the tourism sector.

Singapore’s tourism landscape has changed dramatically over the last 50 years. When the Singapore Tourism Promotion Board¹ was first established in 1964, we received only 91,000 visitors; now we welcome more than 15 million² visitors. This journey of transformation has also resulted in the creation of world class attractions, year-round exciting events and vibrant precincts that are enjoyed not only by visitors, but also local residents. Tourism50, our year of commemoration, is about celebrating the relationships that have sustained the growth of tourism and Singapore as a great home to live, work and play. Panviman

“Tourism has been a major player in the storied transformation of Singapore over the past 50 years. Not only has it shaped Singapore into a compelling destination with strong local character, it has also helped make Singapore an enjoyable home that we can be proud of. These achievements are made possible in no small part by the passion, dedication and contribution of the people who work in our tourism sector and industry partners, as well as the support of local residents,” said Mr Lionel Yeo, Chief Executive of STB. “Through our events and activities for this year of commemoration, we hope to highlight to local residents the work of our industry partners, kindle their passion for local tourism developments, and harness their ideas and energies in building an ever more exciting Singapore.”

For the media launch of Tourism50 today, STB invited three luminaries – Mrs Pamelia Lee, Senior Tourism Consultant, Mr Kevin Cheong, Chairman of the Association of Singapore Attractions, and Mrs Geraldene Lowe-Ismail, pioneer tourist guide – who have made significant contributions to Singapore’s tourism landscape over the years to share their personal stories and memories of attractions and tourism developments, and discuss the role of tourism in Singapore.

Phase One – Reminisce
The first wave of Tourism50 events and activities will focus on connecting with local residents emotionally by bringing back memories of some past and longstanding attractions and raising awareness and appreciation of these tourism developments:
Reliving Haw Par Villa
Kicking off the Reminisce phase is the Reliving Haw Par Villa event that showcases a longstanding attraction and heritage park – Haw Par Villa. Over two weekends in March (15, 16, 22 and 23 March 2014), the public can participate in free guided Haw Par Villa tours and talks curated and conducted by local heritage tour specialist – Journeys. These will offer insights into the history of Haw Par Villa, the background story of its original owners – the Aw Brothers, and the various Asian folklores, beliefs and philosophy behind the sculptures and dioramas. Other activities include cultural performances such as storytelling sessions, skits and puppet shows, a nostalgic-themed food bazaar, and a vintage flea market. Admission is free.
Project Postcard
From March to early April, the public can collect a series of four commemorative postcards, send e-cards, and download e-wallpapers featuring artwork that takes a nostalgic look at popular tourism icons such as the Raffles Hotel, Haw Par Villa, Sentosa, old Merlion Park, Van Kleef Aquarium, Adelphi Hotel, Paya Lebar International Airport and Great World Amusement Park. Designed by local freelance illustrator and Architecture student Richard Li, the illustrations are his interpretations of how past developments could look like when juxtaposed against present-day surroundings. The postcards are distributed at all ZoCard stands and National Libraries, as well as the Singapore Visitors Centre, Chinatown Heritage Centre, Sentosa ticketing counters and Singapore Tourism Board (Tourism Court). Local residents who mail the postcards to their friends and loved ones will get to enter a Lucky Draw to win the following great prizes:
GRAND PRIZE:
2D1N Grand Hotel Suite Staycation at Raffles Hotel Singapore (includes Limousine Transfer + Breakfast & Dinner for 2) x 1 winner
OTHER PRIZES:
Sentosa Islander Family Membership (1 year) x 50 winners
1 pair of FORMULA 1 SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX Walkabout Tickets x 50 winners
Society of Tourist Guides (Singapore) Free Heritage Coach Tours
In conjunction with the celebration of Tourism50 and International Tourist Guides Day, the Society of Tourist Guides Singapore (STGS) will be offering free coach tours on 29 and 30 March 2014 to the public. These tours will be conducted by volunteer tourist guides from STGS and last 1 hour and 15 minutes each. Covering noteworthy landmarks and heritage places such as the Gan Heritage Centre at Bukit Pasoh, Hindu Temple at Tank Road, Jamae Mosque at South Bridge Road, and Singapore River, the tours will enable the public to learn more about the history of Singapore’s pioneers and the evolution of the local tourism landscape.
LATENT SPACES @ Haw Par Villa
A series of art projects curated by local art group LATENT SPACES and supported by STB and National Arts Council will be held at Haw Par Villa from April to October this year to enliven the heritage park and encourage the public to continue visiting it. LATENT SPACES aims to broaden the public’s perspective towards Haw Par Villa and bridge the gap between past and present. Demonstrating a creative use of Haw Par Villa as an art space, LATENT SPACES @ Haw Par Villa comprises four art exhibitions that examine the relationship of human societies to objects. With its collection of large-sculptural exhibits, Haw Par Villa is a place with enduring material presence rich for such an analysis. Not only serving as fodder for contemporary art, Haw Par Villa’s rich history will also be made further accessible to the public through guided tours and art workshops tailored to families and young adults. For these activities, LATENT SPACES will partner groups such as Liew Calligraphy, Pekoe Imp and RUS Art Studio. Additionally, by adopting an open-source curatorial approach, LATENT SPACES will also appropriate existing projects by other interested parties as part of their program. The first exhibition – Nameless Forms – will feature local artists and will take place from 5 April to 4 May at the Jade House in Haw Par Villa. Admission is free.
Phase Two – Rediscover & Phase Three – Celebrate
During the Rediscover phase of STB’s line-up of events and activities, a gamut of unique experiences specially designed by local tourism enterprises from the Attractions, Arts, Cruise and Sports industries will be offered to the public from April to October. The public is encouraged to participate in these events and activities to rediscover new experiences at familiar attractions and create new memories with their friends and families.

The Celebrate phase, as its name suggests, aims to create a celebratory mood among the local public. It will feature festive light-ups and events to bring the year of commemoration to a closure and set the mood for the celebration of Singapore 50 next year.

Details for the Rediscover and Celebrate phases will be unveiled at a later date.

An online platform offering tourism-related stories and regular updates on Tourism50-related events and activities to the public was also launched today at www.xinmsn.com/rediscoversg. This is where the public can also download e-wallpapers and send e-card versions of the Project Postcard images. Content on the Tourism50 microsite will be updated on a weekly basis and refreshed for each phase of the celebrations.

The public is encouraged to use the hashtag #rediscoversg to share their experiences of Tourism50 related events and activities with their families and friends on social media platforms.
For more information, please refer to the fact sheet – Tourism50 Fact Sheet.

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