STB: Merchants who increase prices unreasonably could be taken off SingapoRediscovers Vouchers scheme

STB will work with other agencies to monitor the situation closely.

Zhangxin Zheng | September 16, 2020, 12:05 PM

Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has announced more details on the tourism credits that the government will be giving out in a bid to boost domestic tourism on Sep. 16.

This SingapoRediscovers Vouchers scheme is one of the ways the government hopes to support the tourism industry which has been hit the hardest from Covid-19.

With the credits, Singaporeans can visit attractions, book hotel rooms, or tours without forking out as much money from their own pockets.

Actions to be taken against merchants doing price gouging

In response to a question on potential price gouging, STB chief executive Keith Tan told the press that the agency will be monitoring if the participating merchants are increasing their prices unreasonably in December when Singaporeans start using the tourism credits.

The agency has observed and learnt how other countries have managed such situations when government vouchers were issued, Tan added.

STB will be working with other agencies such as the Competition Commission of Singapore to monitor the behaviour of merchants and will take actions against those who demonstrate "behaviours that are not desirable".

Merchants caught doing price gouging could be taken off the scheme, Tan said.

F&B and retail industries will benefit indirectly from this scheme

Tan said that the core beneficiaries of this scheme are the hotel attractions and tours because they are highly dependent on tourists.

About 70 per cent to 80 per cent of their revenues come from foreign arrivals which is proportionately higher as compared to retail and F&B industries.

Even though the F&B and retail industries do not directly benefit from this scheme, Tan said that visitors at attractions will likely spend on food and other items when they are in the area.

Minister for Trade and Industry, Chan Chun Sing, said that the Singapore Rediscovers scheme is one of the various support packages from the government to help support businesses in Singapore.

The different schemes will be able to help different industries in a targetted manner, Chan added.

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Top photo by Fasiha Nazren.