Promoting the country’s tourism industry, the Singapore Tourism Board is an official government entity and answers to the country’s Ministry of Trade and Industry. The Board was first set up in 1964 to promote the then burgeoning tourism industry in Singapore. These days, the Board has a hefty job, as Singapore welcomes tens of millions of visitors every year.
The Board has done a lot to improve Singapore’s image over the years, including the introduction of the now famous Merlion icon, a mythical fish-lion beast that has become the official emblem of Singapore. Statues and other representations of the Merlion can be found all over the city, including sculptures in Merlion Park, Sentosa and Mount Faber.
The Singapore Tourism Board operates a number of different outlets that cater to visitors and provide information about sightseeing, transportation and other Singapore essentials. Its widely popular Uniquely Singapore website is a virtual fountain of information for potential and current visitors, covering everything from immigration to dining and including useful tools such as an online itinerary planner and reservation system for hotels and flights.
The Board also runs Visitors Centres to provide information to tourists and sightseers. Three such centers are located inside each of the three terminals at Changi Airport to cater to new arrivals, while the main branch is situated on Orchard Road in the city center.
There is also a tourist hotline called the Touristline available to answer questions and help lost or confused visitors who aren’t near any of the Visitors Centres. The Touristline is toll free from inside Singapore, but also has an international extension for those planning a trip or needing further information.
1800-736-2000 (toll-free in Singapore)
(65) 6736-2000 ( Overseas )
Finally, if you are looking for a private tour guide, the Singapore Tourism Board maintains an extremely helpful directory of all officially approved tour guides, including an online edition available from the Guides Online section of Uniquely Singapore. The database is searchable by guide status, language, name or guiding category, from which you can choose specialists in a number of genres such as ‘nature’, ‘architecture’, ‘food’ and so on. Guides Online boasts a vast number of professional licensed tour guides that are fluent in 15 different languages.