STB working on new ideas to reinvent Orchard Road

STB working on new ideas to reinvent Orchard Road
One initiative to revitalise Orchard Road was to close a section of the shopping belt to vehicles on the first Saturday night of the month, to allow people to roam the streets and enjoy activities like concerts and tennis.

With tourism growth slowing, an exercise to develop new ideas to rejuvenate Singapore's premier shopping belt is under way.

Second Minister for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran said yesterday that the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is conducting an exercise called "Envisioning Orchard Road" to develop "a common vision and new ideas" for the 2.2km boulevard.

It will study consumer insights and engage local stakeholders to understand key challenges in a process that should wrap up by the year end, he added.

Tourism growth is expected to be flat this year, he said. Visitor arrivals should be in the range of 15.1 million to 15.5 million - up at most 3 per cent from last year.

Tourism receipts are also expected to be modest, in the range of $23.5 billion to $24 billion, up at most 2 per cent from last year.

Dr Lim Wee Kiak (Nee Soon GRC) and Mr Gan Thiam Poh (Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC) asked what is being done to ensure Singapore remains vibrant, given the "intensifying competition for the global tourist shopping dollar".

Mr Iswaran said that last year, the STB worked with the retail industry to test new initiatives to revitalise Orchard Road, such as a five-month pop-up showcase of local designers. And since last October, a 660m stretch has been pedestrianised on the first Saturday night of the month. Tonight marks the last Pedestrian Night of the six-month trial.

Meanwhile, the STB will extend support for innovative lifestyle events and concepts that have strong tourism appeal and the potential to be scaled up.

Through its $5 million Kickstart Fund, 13 such projects have been tested so far.

The STB will double the maximum funding for projects to $150,000, and extend the maximum duration of support to one year, said Mr Iswaran.

waltsim@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on March 7, 2015.
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