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Alvin Tan: ‘Tandem benefits’ for the region amid SG’s exclusive Taylor Swift show

MOS Alvin Tan highlights the mutual benefits of regional tourism for Singapore and neighbouring nations. Addressing MP Jamus Lim’s concerns about opportunity monopolization, especially with Taylor Swift’s show, MOS Tan reaffirms Singapore’s commitment to its interests.



SINGAPORE: Minister of State (MOS) for Trade and Industry (MIT) Alvin Tan highlighted the tandem benefits for both Singapore and its neighbouring countries when visitors explore the Lion City, as he addressed Parliament on Tuesday (5 March).

Underlining Singapore’s pivotal role as a regional connectivity hub, MOS Tan emphasized that the benefits extend beyond the nation’s borders, positively impacting the broader region and its neighbours.

He was responding to a supplementary question from Workers’ Party MP for Sengkang GRC Associate Professor Jamus Lim, who expressed concern about potential negative effects on foreign relations due to perceptions that Singapore is monopolizing opportunities.

Assoc Prof Lim also inquired about the collaboration between the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) or other agencies to manage potential fallout in international relations.

Earlier, Singapore’s exclusive deal with Taylor Swift drew criticism and unhappiness among neighbouring countries.

Visitors to Singapore may also visit other tourist sites around the region, says MOS Tan

In response, MOS Tan reaffirmed that Singapore does what is in its best interests, much like other governments operate in their own jurisdiction’s best interests.

“When visitors outside of the region come to Singapore, there are also tandem benefits because then they go and visit other tourist sites around the region.”

“Singapore is a hub, it’s a hub of a hive of activity connectivity helps and it also supports and benefits our neighbours around the region,” he said.

MOS Tan also responded to parliamentary Questions filed by Mr Don Wee, PAP MP for Chua Chu Kang GRC and Mr Gerald Giam, WP MP for Aljunied GRC.

Mr Wee inquired about the considerations the STB uses in granting funds to artists or events. Specifically, he sought insights into the criteria influencing grant decisions.

Mr Giam questioned the MTI on the government’s initiation of support for marquee performances or sports events through grants, seeking details on total grants for 2024 events, anticipated tourist numbers, and the estimated economic benefits for Singapore arising from these events.

In response, MOS Tan said STB has been providing grants for leisure events since 1998.

These grants are designed to complement other marketing initiatives, including campaigns and partnerships.

For leisure events supported by STB, international visitors typically constitute 25 to 30 per cent of total attendees.

“Aside from leisure events, STB also supports the development and marketing of new tourism products, rejuvenation of existing tourism offerings, upskilling of our tourism workers, and also helping our local tourism companies become more productive and innovative.”

“STB conducts thorough assessments before providing any grant,” MOS Tan said this includes evaluating the qualitative and quantitative benefits of proposed events, such as their potential to attract foreign visitors, generate tourism receipts, incorporate unique programming, and showcase Singapore as a vibrant destination.

He added that supported events are expected to create value by generating more business opportunities for local companies, contributing to Singapore’s vibrancy, and amplifying the country’s global brand and international stature.

In response to Don Wee’s question about maintaining competitiveness in the tourism sector, MOS Tan acknowledged the challenges faced by the tourism sector due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said the government took proactive measures by injecting S$500 million in 2022. This financial support included initiatives like the Singapore Rediscover Vouchers and the Job Support Scheme targeted at the tourism sector.

He said STB engaged with event organizers in the tourism sector multiple times to ensure that Singapore’s offerings remained open and reliable even during times of crisis.

MOS Tan highlighted specific events supported by STB, such as the Olympic Esports Week, Gamescom Asia, Sneaker Cons Saudis Asia in 2024, Anime Festival Asia 2024, SG Comic Con 2024, HSBC Rugby Sevens, and the HSBC World Championship Women’s Golf.

MOS Tan pointed out that other countries, such as Australia (with a regional tourism events fund), Abu Dhabi (with a mega-events fund), and Hong Kong (committing over three years and HKD 100 million for large-scale international events), are actively investing in their tourism sectors.

“STB will continue to be bolt forward-looking strategic in assessing every single opportunity that is for Singapore to welcome all of these world-class events, these world-class tourism offerings to make Singapore an attractive leisure business destination for people to come, live, work, visit and play.”

In a press statement dated 1 February, STB announced a robust recovery and resilience in Singapore’s tourism sector throughout 2023.

International visitor arrivals (IVA) reached a notable 13.6 million, equivalent to approximately 71 per cent of the 2019 IVA figures.

tourism receipts (TR) are estimated to range between S$24.5 to S$26.0 billion, representing approximately 88-94 per cent of the 2019 TR, surpassing STB’s earlier forecast of $18.0 to $21.0 billion outlined for the year 2023.

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Oh yeah People from Asia coming to Spend is Indeed Tandem Benefit.
Arhhh, which school you study arch.
Don’t mind me asking???
New Business Model by Singapore, Actually Spoils the market for everyone.
Even for Local Consumers.
Dumb ShitHead.
Not causing But Creating Inflation.

SG is a hub for this and that…
Also fast becoming a hub for international crime..
Now scam and moneylaundering ongoing & getting worse and worser..🙄😒😏