SINGAPORE: As it ramps up marketing efforts to nudge more Singaporeans to make use of their SingapoRediscovers vouchers, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said it has “no plans to change the fundamental mechanics” of how these vouchers are redeemed.
As part of propping up the battered tourism industry, it was announced last September that every Singaporean aged 18 and above would receive S$100 worth of tourism vouchers that can be used on staycations, attraction tickets and local tours.
Redemption of these vouchers started in December last year but as of Mar 28, about three-quarters of adult Singaporeans have not done so. These vouchers will expire at the end of June.
Some users have raised concerns about the complexities and inconvenience of having to sieve through offerings on five different booking platforms, and other hiccups they encountered during their bookings online. Some also said having the redemption online can be intimidating for those who are less tech-savvy, especially the elderly.
Asked if there were plans to make it easier for people to redeem their vouchers, STB chief executive Keith Tan said the tourism board had previously laid out why the scheme was designed as a “digital-only process” so “there are no plans to change the fundamental mechanics of the scheme”.
“What we can do and been doing already is to make it easier for those who are not so digitally-savvy to access the schemes, whether through physical touch points at the CCs (community centres) or the physical platforms that have been established by our booking partners,” he added.
“And those are still available.”
However there has been a decline in the number of people showing up at the physical touchpoints set up at the community centres over the last few weeks, said Mr Tan.
“And I hope that's also partly a reflection of the fact that once you've tried it at least once, you actually find that it's not difficult at all,” he said.
STB has started ramping up marketing efforts to boost redemption rates.
“One of the big factors that we've noticed is people are waiting for the next better deal (or) the next offer,” Mr Tan told reporters at a press conference held after the STB’s annual industry conference.
“We have worked with the booking partners and on our own to push up marketing efforts to encourage people not to wait.”
There was “a healthy increase” in the utilisation rates of the vouchers last month. While the March school holidays could have played a part, Mr Tan said the trend remains ongoing.
“We believe there’s a positive pick-up in response to the marketing efforts from us and the five booking partners.”
There are no plans for the Government to change the scheme’s redemption deadline of Jun 30 “for now”, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said in a written parliamentary reply this week.