$15m fund to breathe new life into tourist spots

$15m fund to breathe new life into tourist spots
A performer at the Chinatown Chinese New Year Light-Up and Opening Ceremony in January. Precinct associations say the new fund can help them organise better events or make improvements to their districts.

Associations that oversee popular tourist spots like Chinatown, Sentosa and Orchard Road are set to benefit from a new $15 million development fund, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said yesterday.

The STB announced the fund at its annual tourism industry conference, saying it can help precinct associations to market and develop their brands, and organise events to enliven their areas.

It will also be available for industry groups such as the Society of Tourist Guides Singapore (STGS) to tap.

Mr S. Iswaran, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, was guest of honour at the event at Suntec convention centre and he told about 600 participants that the fund will help to "create authentic visitor experience".

STB's assistant chief executive for policy and planning Yap Chin Siang said the fund, which will be available until March 2016, will help to defray costs like training and professional development.

Applications for funding - which can cover up to 70 per cent of a project - will be approved on a case-by-case basis, he added.

"Our market research has shown us that visitors want to connect emotively with their destination. They want an immersive and different experience, so the precinct associations are important players in achieving this."

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