Putting Singapore on the Map: An interview with Singapore Tourism Board

ISSUE #68 – Ms Yen Nee Tan (pictured below), Regional Director Europe, Singapore Tourism Board speaks to us about going inside-out to tell the story of Singapore, and the new projects in retail, F&B and entertainment making the city-state ever more exciting.

Unveiling of Passion Made Possible. Photo: Singapore Tourism Board



From business visitors to leisure tourists, Singapore has certainly been put on the map as a place to visit. Do tell us, what is the Singapore brand and how do you try to make it relatable to visitors?

In August 2017, the Singapore Tourism Board, together with the Economic Development Board, unveiled the Passion Made Possible brand, to market Singapore internationally for tourism and business purposes. Passion Made Possible is a brand that captures the spirit of Singapore, a place shaped by its people and their passions, and driven by their passion to constantly pursue new possibilities and reinvention.

With Passion Made Possible, STB took an inside-out approach by celebrating Singapore’s people, talent and stories, which form a key aspect of our brand campaign. These were brought to life through consumer launches, trade events, industry partnerships, and global marketing plans in 20 markets[1] worldwide.

Passion Made Possible speaks of Singapore’s authenticity and depth of character, and seeks to form deeper connections with visitors through the sharing of stories and experiences of Singapore.

Potential visitors are also grouped into Passion Tribes based on their lifestyles and interests. There are seven tribes: Foodie, Collector, Explorer, Progressor, Socialiser, Culture Shaper and Action Seeker.

With Passion Made Possible, STB took an inside-out approach by celebrating Singapore’s people, talent and stories

The storytelling approach and the creation of the Passion Tribes build affinity and affiliation with visitors, and help create mindshare and position Singapore positively in their minds. They will then be more inclined to choose Singapore as a destination to visit or opt to spend a longer time on the island discovering different aspects of Singapore.

The Singapore story goes beyond tourism and business, shared by everyone with a stake in its success – from everyday locals and entrepreneurs to industry stakeholders and businesses and various government agencies.

We are heartened by the response to efforts by our industry partners to bring the Passion Made Possible brand to life through their tourism products:


STB has worked with tour operators to curate 27 tours based on Passion Tribes to enable visitors to discover Singapore based on their lifestyles and interests. The tours include:

Bike and Bites Food Tour by Let’s Go Tour Singapore

There are also hotel experiences that will encourage travellers to deepen their passions:

  • Aug 2018 – Launch of Made in Singapore Rooms by Village Hotels by Far East Hospitality, targeted at the Culture Shaper Passion Tribe
  • Oct 2018 – Launch of Heritage Tour at Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa, targeted at the Explorer Passion Tribe
  • Oct 2018 – Launch of Fashion Showcase at Ascott Orchard Singapore, targeted at the Collector Passion Tribe
  • Dec 2018 – Launch of Creative Communities workshops at M Social Singapore, targeted at various tribes including Collector and Foodie

We further encourage the French travel industry to partner us in telling a great Singapore story and will continue to work closely with them to develop such tourism offerings/products.

Down to the Bare Walls by A+B Edu Tours and Travel


From online shopping to food apps, e-commerce goes strong in Singapore. What can be done to draw consumers back out onto the streets?

With consumers becoming increasingly well-travelled and exposed to various retail and dining experiences, tourism and retail stakeholders have to set their sights on creating compelling content propositions.

As the champion agency for tourism, STB constantly seeks out new and exciting concepts that can set Singapore apart as a top leisure destination. As part of our ongoing efforts to rejuvenate Singapore’s premier shopping district, Orchard Road, as an integrated lifestyle and leisure precinct that offers authentic and immersive experiences for Singaporeans and tourists, we are developing Design Orchard, a consolidated showcase of some 60 designed-in-Singapore brands in the heart of Orchard Road.

Over the years, we have supported various events in the retail and dining scenes, including crowd favourites such as Christmas on a Great Street, Great Singapore Sale, Singapore Food Festival and World Gourmet Summit. We have also facilitated new experiences such as pop-ups along Orchard Road like the STAR WARS: Experience the Force Singapore festival.

We welcome local and international stakeholders with creative ideas and concepts to tap on our Leisure Events Fund, to execute their proposals and bring their business to Singapore.

Star Wars Run Singapore 2018

Christmas on a Great Street 2018, Orchard Road, Singapore


Design Orchard has just opened this January. What can consumers expect from the latest addition to the retail landscape?

Design Orchard is a joint project by Enterprise Singapore, JTC and STB to nurture and profile local design talent and brands in Singapore. Located at the junction of Cairnhill Road and Orchard Road, Design Orchard has opened on 25 Jan 2019. Design Orchard is expected to provide locals and tourists greater access to the local design community and enliven Orchard Road.

Design Orchard comprises two main parts:

  1. A retail showcase on the first level to groom and profile home-grown design talent. Over 60 local brands across categories such as fashion, lifestyle products and souvenirs will retail at the showcase. As the lead agency for the retail showcase, STB has appointed home-grown lifestyle retailer Naiise to be the operator of the showcase.
  2. Incubation spaces operated by the Textile and Fashion Federation Singapore (TAFF) on the second floor and the rooftop, as well as an events space on the rooftop.
  • TAFF will run a structured incubation programme targeted at fashion and lifestyle designers with a focus on skills and capability building, such as business management and technology adoption. The programme will support and nurture local designers and help them grow their brands.
  • The rooftop, with its amphitheatre, serves as a unique space for events set against the backdrop of Orchard Road. Interested parties may write in to hello@designorchard.sg to apply for the use of the rooftop event space.


What are the latest trends in retail, F&B and entertainment in Singapore, and how do they make Singapore stand out from the competition?

As a maturing tourism city, Singapore has to rely more on lifestyle and events programming, even as we continue to invest in new infrastructure. Hence, STB has been focusing on enhancing our vibrant events calendar, in which we supported over 900 quality events in the past five years. This will allow us to maintain an always-on buzz in terms of business and leisure events and attract an expanding pool of increasingly discerning visitors.

From one-of-a-kind retail experiences to award-winning restaurants such as Odette (helmed by Julien Royer) and bars such as Manhattan, Native and Operation Dagger, as well as thriving nightlight and entertainment and vibrant sporting events, Singapore has it all.

We are home to many first-in-Southeast Asia (SEA) flagship stores of top international brands such as Louis Vuitton Singapore Island Maison, Apple, Dover Street Market and Victoria’s Secret (first full assortment store in SEA). The presence of these top brands in Singapore is testament to our appeal as a retail destination.

Apart from housing international brand names, we also offer multi-dimensional retail concepts. Local fashion label, In Good Company, and multi-label footwear retailer, Peddar on Scotts, have included cafes within their retail spaces. Jewel Changi Airport, Singapore’s newest mall which opens in early 2019, transforms the shopping experience with attractions such as a 40m high indoor waterfall and the five-storey Forest Valley, Singapore’s largest indoor garden.

Singapore is known for its lively gastronomy scene, which comprises affordable street hawker fare to highend fine dining. In 2018, STB and William Reed Business Media inked a multifaceted three-year partnership to anchor a series of five 50 Best events in Singapore. As part of this pioneering partnership, Singapore will host the annual World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards in 2019 – the first time that the global restaurant rankings’ award ceremony is being held in an Asian city. Singapore will also continue to welcome Asia’s 50 Best Bars in 2019 and 2020 and the World’s 50 Best Bars awards will arrive in 2021. As an attractive cocktail destination, Singapore is home to 12 bars on the Asia’s 50 Best Bars Awards 2018 and six bars on the internationally acclaimed list of World’s 50 Best Bars Awards 2018.

Apart from retail and dining, STB has been curating a glowing line-up of entertainment events, with homegrown and international music acts performing at the Ultra Music Festival, ZoukOut, and the F1 Singapore Grand Prix concert every year. Our three-year collaboration with Disney has also created opportunities to leverage on the Star Wars franchise and Marvel, Disney Animation/Disney Pixar themes to create experiential activities in Singapore. Some recent events include the Marvel Studios: Ten Years of Heroes Exhibition at the ArtScience Museum and the Disney Magical Moments – Christmas on a Great Street along Orchard Road.


See also: Discover French shopping, dining & lifestyle in Singapore on So Chic






[1] The 20 markets are: Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Hong Kong SAR, Malaysia, Middle East, Myanmar, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States and Vietnam.




Interview with Ms Yen Nee Tan, Regional Director Europe, Singapore Tourism Board

Published in FOCUS Magazine — Issue #1 2019 “The Consumer Journey Issue