We thank Mr Toh Cheng Seong for his comments ("Singapore spirit also found in physical infrastructure"; Forum Online, April 16).
The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) assures the public that it appreciates the role of the physical environment in shaping collective memories and a sense of identity.
Over 50 years of tourism development, along with other developmental activities, the STB has been working with relevant agencies to enhance areas that are important to the Singapore story and experience.
Ethnic enclaves such as Chinatown and Little India are being enhanced sensitively to bring alive their heritage; our vibrant local food culture continues to tantalise taste buds around the world, with Chinatown Food Street being the latest offering; historical buildings take on new leases of life as hotels, such as the upcoming Sofitel So and Capitol; and next year, the National Gallery Singapore, housed at the former Supreme Court, will open its doors and inject vibrancy to our Civic District.
The STB also supports industry members in shaping unique Singapore experiences for locals and visitors.
For instance, My Private Chef recently launched Stories, a pop-up dining concept that combines food and storytelling at unique locations such as the old Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, while The Inside Job by Game On! offers an interactive theatrical experience set against the backdrop of historical neighbourhoods and distinctive landmarks in Singapore.
Both projects are funded by the STB's Kickstart Fund, and we welcome more industry players to come forward with their creative ideas.
This year, in commemoration of 50 years of tourism, we continue to emphasise the importance of historical places in telling authentic Singapore stories. The public revisited their memories at Haw Par Villa and learnt about the history of places through the free heritage coach tours by the Society of Tourist Guides (Singapore).
As we strive towards Quality Tourism, a model of tourism development that emphasises significant economic contribution, innovative local enterprises and engaged local populace, local stories and ideas will remain integral to our work.
The activities under our Rediscover phase of Tourism50 are all part of what makes Singapore a top tourism destination today, and we hope to receive the continued support of both locals and tourists.
Communications & Industry Marketing
Singapore Tourism Board
This article was published on April 28 in The Straits Times.Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.