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Formation of the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board 1st Jan 1964

The Singapore Tourist Promotion Board (STPB) was formed on 1 January 1964 to enhance Singapore’s attractiveness to visitors.[1] The main functions of the board were to coordinate the activities of tourist enterprises, improve and develop tourist facilities and attractions, regulate standards within the industry, and carry out promotional campaigns.[2]

Before the creation of the STPB, the role of promoting Singapore as a tourist destination was in the hands of the Singapore Tourist Association (STA), which was formed under the Ministry of Culture in February 1960. With tourism identified as a key industry and potential source of income and employment for Singaporeans, the STPB was established by law under the Ministry of Finance to assume the functions of STA and to expand its scope to include the total development of  the tourism industry  with  the aim of presenting Singapore as  a preferred  tourist destination.[3] The move was significant because it was the first time in Singapore’s history that the government had consciously made it a goal to increase the number of tourist arrivals through policy and legislation.[4]

The Tourist Promotion Board Bill was introduced by then Minister for Finance Goh Keng Swee at the Legislative Assembly on 28 November 1963.[5] The bill was read for the second time on 20 December the following month and passed on the same day.[6] The ordinance came into effect on 1 January 1964.[7]

The STPB’s first board members included K. M. Byrne as chairman and representatives from the Economic Development Board, Singapore Tourist Association and various tourism sectors such as travel agents, airlines, restaurants and hotels.[8] The board organised publicity campaigns on Singapore and its attractions in the principal tourist markets; co-ordinated the activities of tourism-related businesses such as hotels, airlines, travel agencies, tour operators and tourist shops; regulated standards of the tourism sector; and improved facilities and attractions for visitors to Singapore.[9]

With the establishment of the STPB in 1964, Singapore saw a marked increase in its annual tourist arrivals from 109,730 in 1963 to 204,852 in 1967.[10] By 1973, STPB had successfully attained its “million-tourists-a-year mark”.[11]

The STPB was renamed the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) on 19 November 1997 to reflect its expanded role of developing Singapore as a regional tourism business centre and hub.[12]

References
1. State of Singapore. Government Gazette. Subsidiary Legislation Supplement. (1964, January 1). The Tourist Promotion Board Ordinance (Commencement) Notification (S2/1964, p. 1). Singapore: Government Printing Office.  Call no.: RCLOS 348.5957 SGGSLS; Hard work ahead: Byrne. (1964, May 20). The Straits Times, p. 11. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
2. State of Singapore. Government Gazette. Ordinances Supplement. (1964, January 1). The Tourist Promotion Board Ordinance 1963. (Ord. 35 of 1963, pp. 27–34). Singapore: Govt. Print. Off. Call no.: RCLOS 348.5957 SGGAS.
3. Now a tourist association. (1960, February 17). The Straits Times, p. 8; Big boost for tourism as govt steps in. (1964, May 20). The Straits Times, p. 12. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
4. 'Create world image for S’pore' call. (1964, February 1). The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
5. Singapore. Legislative Assembly. Debates: Official Report. (1963, November 28). First Reading of the Tourism Promotion Board Bill (Vol. 22, col. 63). Singapore: Legislative Assembly. Call no.: RCLOS 328.5957 SIN.
6. Singapore. Legislative Assembly. Debates: Official Report. (1963, December 20). Second and Third Readings of the Tourism Promotion Board Bill (Vol. 22, cols 1086–1087). Singapore: Legislative Assembly. Call no.: RCLOS 328.5957 SIN.
7. State of Singapore. Government Gazette. Subsidiary Legislation Supplement. (1964, January 1). The Tourist Promotion Board Ordinance (Commencement) Notification 1964 (Sp. S 2/1964, p. 1). Singapore: Government Printing Office. Call no.: RCLOS 348.5957 SGGSLS.
8. The Straits Times, 20 May 1964, p. 12.
9. Singapore. Legislative Assembly. Debates: Official Report. (1963, December 20). Second Reading of the Tourism Promotion Board Bill (Vol. 22, cols. 1086–1087). Singapore: Legislative Assembly. Call no.: RCLOS 328.5957 SIN.
10. Singapore Tourist Promotion Board. (1969). Annual statistical report 1968–1969 (pp. 15–16). Singapore: STPB. Call no.: RCLOS 338.479104 STPBAS.
11. Singapore Tourist Promotion Board. (1974). Annual report 1973–1974 (p. 1). Singapore: STPB. Call no.: RCLOS 338.479104 STPBAS; Singapore Tourist Promotion Board. (1975). Annual report 1974–1975 (p. 14). Singapore: STPB. Call no.: RCLOS 338.479104 STPBAS.
12. Tourism board takes on new identity. (1997, November 20). The Straits Times, p. 46. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

 

The information in this article is valid as at 2014 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

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