Unless you called in sick to nap the whole day, you’re probably aware that all Singaporeans are getting $100 worth of tourism vouchers from the government.
These vouchers can be redeemed at licensed hotels, tourist attractions, and tours that have been allowed to reopen by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).
This is not just good news for Singaporeans, but for the merchants who’ve been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Merchant: Ya, now I can raise my prices to compensate for all that lost revenue.
Merchant: Wait, you can hear your readers’ thoughts? Forget what I said. I was just joking.
It’s too late, dear merchant. The government has heard them too.
Here’s How STB Ensure That Merchants Won’t Anyhowly Increase Prices Due to $100 Freee Vouchers
STB chief executive Keith Tan has reassured Singaporeans that the agency will be monitoring participating merchants to ensure that they don’t increase their prices unreasonably once residents receive their tourism vouchers.
According to Mothership, STB said it will be working with other agencies such as the Competition Commission of Singapore and will take action if they find merchants engaging in “behaviours that are not desirable”.
This could include being taken off the scheme entirely, Tan said.
Tan added that STB has noted how other countries who have distributed government vouchers have handled merchants, and will learn from them.
Vouchers Valid for 7 Months
For those of you who really did call in sick to nap the whole day, here are more details about the vouchers.
In December 2020, all Singaporeans aged 18 years and above will receive S$100 worth of vouchers for local hotel stays, attractions, and tours.
Called “SingapoRediscovers”, the vouchers will be distributed in denominations of S$10, and will be transferred digitally via the SingPass government portal.
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They will be valid for seven months until June 2021, reported TODAY.
The vouchers can only be redeemed at licensed hotels, tourist attractions, and tours that have been allowed to reopen by STB.
The tours must also be approved by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI).
A Boost For the Tourism Industry
You’re probably wondering why the government is handing out free vouchers all of a sudden. Well, it’s not because of that Facebook post last week where you complained about your inability to travel.
While Singapore has opened up to a few countries, its borders, unlike Trump’s mouth, is closed for the most part.
As a result, luxurious hotels have no inhabitants to be impressed by it, and tourist attractions are emptier than Terminal 2 right now.
Thus, in a bid to revive its dying tourist industry, the government is distributing these vouchers to encourage spending at these hotels and local attractions.
Just like how the government launched job-support schemes to help employees keep their jobs, this scheme will help local businesses survive at a time when Covid-19 is wiping many of them out.
This makes both residents and merchants happy, so it’s a win-win situation.
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