STB urges hotels not to resume marketing staycation packages for now

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has told hotels not to embark on marketing efforts to promote staycation packages. In a frequently-asked-questions (FAQ) document seen by Marketing, STB said this regulation is to avoid public confusion, given that staycations are not allowed to resume for now. STB added that it will advise when hotels are allowed to resume providing staycation services, once the details are ready. Marketing has reached out to STB for additional information.

This comes as Singapore enters Phase Two of reopening in its gradual lift of social restrictions nationwide. According to STB, hotels are still not allowed to accept reservations from local residents in this phase of reopening unless they fulfil certain criteria. Such criteria include individuals not having a current place of residence, healthcare workers looking to isolate themselves from family members living in the same residential unit, and travellers entering Singapore.

A quick check by Marketing found that there are several hotels in Singapore still offering staycation packages on their websites. Oasia Hotels, for example, is allowing booking of weekend staycations until 31 August 2020, with the stay period from 1 July 2020 to 31 August 2020, on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday nights. Holiday Inn is also offering an "upsized staycation package" with a booking and staying period until 30 June 2020. Meanwhile, Royal Plaza on Scotts is offering an exclusive staycation deal for Singapore residents, but have stated that the rooms are only available from 30 Jun 2020 onwards. 

Additionally during Phase Two of Singapore's reopening, STB said hotels are allowed to resume its operations for its F&B establishments, club lounges, swimming pools, and gyms. Hotels can also resume event venues and site inspection. However, these visits are subjected to national Safe Management Guidelines, which includes having no more than five people, excluding hotel staff in an inspection group. Multiple groups of inspection are also not allowed at any one point in time. 

STB has been ramping its efforts to engage Singaporeans during the Circuit Breaker period. Last week, STB launched a remake of the song Singapore Town, performed by local singer-songwriter Charlie Lim, alongside a light-hearted music video. The video features about 60 Singaporeans from all walks of life, including local artistes and personalities such as cook, TV host and food writer Sarah Huang Benjamin; sneaker designer Mark Ong; and Teochew opera artist Tan Wei Tian.

The video captures these Singaporeans enjoying a range of activities at home during the Circuit Breaker period. Some of these activities include building a mini version of the iconic Marina Bay Sands and recreating locally-inspired dishes and cocktails in their own kitchens. Through a compilation of these hopeful moments, the light-hearted video aims to lift the spirits of Singaporeans and encourage them to indulge in their passions from the comfort of their homes.

Separately in April when the Circuit Breaker was just implemented, it launched a film as a public service announcement to encourage Singaporeans and residents to play their part by staying at home during the extended circuit breaker period. The film features tourism frontliners from local attractions such as Singapore Zoo (Wildlife Reserves Singapore), Gardens by The Bay, Sentosa, and National Gallery Singapore. It came with a message from tourism frontliners urging Singapore to help by staying at home. "Singapore, we have a message for you. We need your help. Please stay home so that we can be together soon," the film said. 

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