Marking 50 years of tourism with free guided tours for local residents

Marking 50 years of tourism with free guided tours for local residents
Tours will be held at Haw Par Villa over two weekends, on March 15-16 and March 22-23. TODAY FILE PHOTO
Published: 4:04 AM, March 5, 2014
Updated: 7:24 AM, March 5, 2014

SINGAPORE — A series of free guided tours and talks at Haw Par Villa for local residents, curated and conducted by local heritage tour specialists, will take place over two weekends, as part of events organised by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) to mark 50 years of tourism development and promotion.

During the tours — on March 15, 16, 22 and 23 — participants will get an insight into Haw Par Villa’s history. A vintage flea market and a nostalgia-themed food bazaar will also be held at the theme park over the two weekends and admission is free. To ensure the buzz around Haw Par Villa does not die down after the free tours, the STB and the National Arts Council will hold a series of performances and showcase art installations there from next month to September.

And to help local residents reconnect with other attractions around the island, the STB will be offering free heritage tours that cover areas such as the Singapore River, Jamae Mosque at South Bridge Road and the Hindu Temple at Tank Road, on the last weekend of this month.

There will be 12 tours on March 29 and nine on March 30. Each tour, which can accommodate 40 people, will last for an hour and 15 minutes, and interested participants can sign up, on a first-come-first-serve basis, at the Gan Heritage Centre at Bukit Pasoh on the day itself.

Speaking at the launch of the year-long celebration yesterday, STB Chief Executive Lionel Yeo said tourism in Singapore should be celebrated because of its contributions to the nation. “I think tourism has made immense contributions to Singapore in terms of direct economic contribution, in terms of putting Singapore on the international map as well as enlarging our leisure options, and I think that is something well worth marking and celebrating.”