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S$500 million allocated to support Singapore's tourism industry

The tourism sector will receive new investment of about half a billion dollars to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, State Secretary of Commerce and Industry Alvin Tan said.

This comes after Singapore reopened its borders to all fully vaccinated travelers, eliminating the need for COVID-19 testing and quarantine.

Speaking at the Singapore Tourism Board Conference, Mr. Tan said the funding will be used to maintain the sector's strategic staffing capacity, offset business expenses, and strengthen international recovery plans in the coming years.

Mr Tan urged stakeholders and industry partners to use government support to transform their businesses and develop new opportunities. In particular, healthy living and sustainability were highlighted as areas that Singapore's tourism sector will focus on due to growing global demand.

The Sustainable Tourism Program will focus on capacity building, fostering innovation as well as education and awareness.

To encourage innovation, the government will support the development and testing of innovative sustainable solutions through the Singapore Tourism Accelerator. Under this program, innovative technology providers and tourism companies will work together to develop solutions in areas such as waste, water, energy and carbon management that can be scaled up across the industry.

Mr. Tan noted that the global wellness tourism market was valued at more than $720 billion in 2019, but the nonprofit Global Wellness Institute predicts that with the pandemic raising awareness of the importance of holistic wellness, the market will grow in the next five years to reach $1.1 trillion by 2025.

He added that Singapore has many opportunities for wellness activities that build on its identity as a "city in nature."

"We can leverage technology and our multicultural roots to develop innovative wellness products and experiences that improve people's physical fitness and health as well as recharge and rejuvenate their minds," Mr. Tan said.