On Monday (23 November) it was announced that Singaporeans can begin redeeming their S$100 SingapoRediscovers vouchers starting 1 December online via authorised booking platforms, namely Change Travel Service, GlobalTix, Klook, Traveloka, and Trip.com.
The above platforms feature a range of activities that people can choose to spend their vouchers on from staycation packages to heritage tours.
Redeeming the vouchers requires SingPass at the point of checkout.
The vouchers can be redeemed at S$10 denominations.
However, there are certain terms and services to the vouchers, said the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).
Most notably, the vouchers cannot be combined with others for a single purchase. This means that a family cannot combine each individual voucher to book, for example, a single hotel stay.
The vouchers also cannot be sold or transferred to others.
STB said that this is designed to encourage Singaporeans to support as many tourism businesses as possible.
When asked by they chose to use booking platforms as a means of redeeming vouchers rather than working directly with merchants, TODAY reported STF as saying that this was the fastest, easiest, and safest way to get as many merchants involved as possible, owing to the fact that some businesses, especially smaller ones, do not have their own online booking system for patrons.
Netizens commenting on TODAY‘s Facebook page, however, were less than thrilled about not being able to stack or combine vouchers.
They opined that the government should not expect people to spend the vouchers on staycations and hotel stays if they cannot stack vouchers.
Several people pointed out that hotels have probably hiked up their rates now, rendering the vouchers moot.
A few people suggested calling them “discount vouchers” instead.
One person even said that it would be better to offer S$100 discounts for various hotel rooms and attractions instead of handing out vouchers.
One person said it was “stupid” to not allow at least family members to combine their tickets, while another wondered why the state is “afraid” of people using the vouchers that are meant to help the tourism industry.
One person suggested the S$100 vouchers be left open for people to spend on what they want or need, noting that it is not currently convenient for many people who have to fork out some of their own money to be able to use the vouchers.
At least one person expressed a more measured reaction, stating that the inability to combine vouchers means a loss for the hotel industry, as many people might not opt to use their vouchers on staycations.
The commenter then went on to say that the “government doesn’t want us to spend it all on staycations”, adding that those who could afford to top up the voucher should do it, while others can opt for more affordable attractions like trips to the zoo.