The Enterprise Singapore (ESG), Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) and Singapore Tourism Board (STB) have jointly announced the launch of SingapoRediscovers, a nine-month, SGD45 million (USD32.5 million) campaignto drive local spend on tourism and lifestyle offerings. Beginning at the end of July, the campaign focuses on partnering local communities to help locals discover hidden gems, curating attractively-priced Singapoliday staycation packages to create authentic experiences for locals, and collaborating with hotels, tour operators, attractions and precincts to develop quality experiences and attractive promotions. For a start, around 40 businesses have come on board to offer some 80 promotions. The offers will be housed on the VisitSingapore app and the newly-launched SingapoRediscovers microsite. Starting from August, consumers can enjoy upcoming virtual events such as Singapore Food Festival. Various F&B campaigns and promotions will also be launched to drive footfall and attract more diners to outlets in different parts of the country. The campaign will spread its budget across direct marketing for attractions, grants under schemes such as the Marketing Partnership Programme and the SG Stories Content Fund, and partnerships with industry partners, such as airlines, e-commerce platform and online travel agencies.
Deputy Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, U Tin Latt, is planning to boost domestic tourism in Myanmar as the nation has closed its international borders until 31 July 2020. The plans include lifting all quarantine measures between states and regions, gradually opening tourism destinations in the country with safe distancing measures, establishing destination management organisations to enforce the measures, launching domestic travel campaigns with the media, requesting for funds from the COVID-19 Economic Mitigation Committee to launch incentive programs offering travel coupons to healthcare personnel and volunteers, and providing tax rebates and reliefs to tourism operators. Aside from the short-term plans, according to U Myint Sein, Deputy Director at the Directorate of Hotel and Tourism (Magwe), an ecotourism zone on 60 acres of land one mile away from Man Shwe Settaw Pagoda near Hlay Tin Bridge is being developed by the Magwe Region government. The project is expected to cost K2 billion, and upon approval, the development will commence in 2021 and take two years to complete. Another initiative to boost domestic tourism is by Myanmar National Airlines. The national flag carrier is offering a 20% discount on local flight tickets in celebration of the company’s 70th anniversary this year.
To boost domestic travel, Thailand launched “We Travel Together” campaign, and it has generated over 3.6 million in hotel room bookings. Participants of the campaign must be a Thai citizen who will travel outside of their hometown province. For accommodations, the government will subsidise 40% of the standard room rate or up to THB3,000 per night for a maximum of five nights. On 21 July, the government has extended the campaign to the unlicensed hotels to provide tourists with more options. The government will loosen restrictionson three groups including hotels in the process of obtaining a licence, hotels whose licenses expired less than one year ago and small boutique hotels that do not meet the hotel license criteria. The campaign also covers other trip-related expenses, including food and transportations. The government will subsidise 40% of the expenses or up to THB600 per day. Domestic airfare can be subsidised for 40% of the ticket price or up to THB1,000, with a cap of 2 million seats. All the transaction from the government will be done through “Pao Tang” application.
India has established special bilateral arrangement or ‘air bubbles’ with the US, France and Germany as it gradually resumes scheduled international flights for the first time since they were stopped in March 2020. Similar arrangements with the UK and other countries are expected to be announced soon. Travel under these air bubbles will be regulated as per the entry requirements of each country, including India. As of now, entry is restricted to Indian nationals, Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card holders and some foreigners such as diplomats.
Opened in 2018, the management agreement for the two colonial properties in Singapore, Six Senses Duxton and Six Senses Maxwell, ended in June 2020. The hotels’ owner, Chile-based The Garcha Group, has announced that the properties will be rebranded under the US-based Marriott International flag. The former Six Senses Duxton will reopen as The Duxton Reserve Hotel, Autograph Collection while the former Six Senses Maxwell will relaunch into The Maxwell Reserve Hotel, Autograph Collection. While the hotels will open to guests in 2021, food and beverage offerings will be available earlier, at the end of 2020. There are currently no plans to renovate the two properties. The Maxwell Reserve Hotel, Autograph Collection property will get a new flagship restaurant and bar - SHIKAR.