SINGAPORE: SingapoRediscovers vouchers, which can be used for staycations, attraction tickets and tours, can be redeemed from Dec 1, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said on Monday (Nov 23).
The vouchers - S$100 for every Singaporean aged 18 and above this year - can be redeemed online through five authorised booking partners: Changi Travel Services (also known as Changi Recommends), Klook, Trip.com, GlobalTix and Traveloka.
“We know that local consumption will not fully make up for tourism spending," said STB chief executive Keith Tan.
"But we hope that over the next seven months, Singaporeans will use the vouchers to rediscover Singapore, to explore what our hotels, attractions and tours have to offer - and in the process, support jobs, livelihoods and capabilities in our tourism industry.”
Singaporeans can use their SingPass to redeem the vouchers online. They are encouraged to register for a SingPass account if they do not have one, or reset their SingPass password if they have forgotten it, before voucher redemption starts, said STB.
Eligible products that can be redeemed with the vouchers are marked with the SingapoRediscovers vouchers icon on the websites of the authorised booking partners.
Users can add the items to cart and click “Use SingapoRediscovers vouchers” to pay at the checkout page. They will then be prompted to log in with their SingPass accounts and choose the amount of SingapoRediscovers vouchers to use.
If purchasing child or youth tickets, they will need to declare the details of family members under 18 to receive S$10 subsidies for up to six child or youth tickets. The subsidies will be automatically deducted from the checkout amount.
A voucher code will be generated, and users should copy and paste this voucher code on the checkout page, and proceed to pay the outstanding amount if any.
The vouchers cannot be stacked or combined with those of another individual to buy the same product, STB said.
Stacking is not allowed for “security reasons”, to prevent fraud and resale of the vouchers, said the tourism board at a briefing on Monday.
“So that’s where we want to make sure that the SingPass authentication and prevention of fraud comes into play, that what is yours remains yours. It’s not going to be stolen by someone else, it’s not going to be used by someone else,” STB said.
“Also there’s another important reason for that, we would like Singaporeans to actually use the vouchers to support as many tourism businesses as possible. So that’s where we look to you to support as many tourism businesses versus (using) it all in one sale.”
From Dec 1, users can check their SingapoRediscovers vouchers balance and activate child or youth subsidies at go.gov.sg/srvbalance. All eligible citizens will also receive a letter with information about the redemption process.
Singaporeans who need help with redeeming the vouchers online can go to 69 locations across the island. Most of these are located at community centres, selected malls and SingPost locations.
“Citizens are reminded to have a valid SingPass account before visiting the authorised booking partners at their physical locations,” said STB.
The People’s Association will provide SingPass setup or password reset service at 53 community centres or clubs for those who need help.
To prevent fraud, people are not allowed to transfer or sell their SingapoRediscovers vouchers.
“STB takes a serious view on abuses such as fraud, profiteering and resale of SingapoRediscovers vouchers, and will monitor the usage of vouchers to ensure they are used for their intended purpose," the tourism board said.
Action will be taken against any resale of vouchers on third-party platforms. This could include taking down listings and forfeiting unutilised SingapoRediscovers vouchers, it said. Cases may also be referred to the police.
Singaporeans should not share their SingPass log-in information and one-time password with anyone, STB said. To avoid falling for scams, they should also be careful of unsolicited text messages or web links that direct them to suspicious portals claiming to be SingapoRediscovers vouchers’ authorised booking partners.
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Speaking to journalists, STB chief Keith Tan said the agency "has been working hard behind the scenes" with the tourism industry and government agencies to get the vouchers ready over the past few months.
“This is a monumental task - we have never done anything like this before at STB. It is the first national digital-only voucher scheme rolled out by the Government, involving hundreds of merchants, five booking partners and dozens of physical locations all over Singapore.”
STB decided to work with booking partners to “help represent hundreds of these tourism businesses at scale”, including small merchants who may not have their own booking system. Consumers are also already familiar with the platforms, said the tourism board.
“Actually a lot of the merchants are already onboarded to these booking partners, because it’s part and parcel of the regular business model.”
The tourism board secured a “much lower range” of commission rates for all the merchants who will be using the booking platforms to push out their SingapoRediscovers products, it said. “On the citizen front, actually there is no impact, there will be no extra fees or charges that are levied to users for the bookings.”
The industry has “responded very well” to the vouchers, said Mr Tan. Since the initiative was announced in August, more than 200 merchants have signed up to offer products for the vouchers.
“I am also encouraged to see our tourism businesses working with each other to reimagine their offerings for Singaporeans. As a result of these cross-sector collaborations, we have many very interesting bundled packages, which can be bought using the SingapoRediscovers vouchers.”
Singaporeans should “take their time” to choose the experiences they want, as the vouchers and products are valid until Jun 30, said Mr Tan.
“There is no need to rush to use the vouchers, and we encourage Singaporeans to use them during off-peak periods.”