Singapore travel agency rolls out virtual tours with a twist

Monster Virtual Bingo Tour

With border restrictions keeping foreign tourists at bay, Singapore operator Monster Day Tours is aiming to keep tour guiding alive by launching a double whammy of products targeting the domestic market.

This comes after Singapore opened applications for small local tours to resume, provided they meet a set of health and safety guidelines and limit their groups to five guests.

Homebound travellers on Virtual Bingo Tours get to traipse around Singapore, while playing games to win prizes

From July 25 to August 31, 2020, Monster Day Tours will run a series of SG55 Walking Tours, in conjunction with the country’s 55th National Day. Aimed at helping local guides who have lost their income during the pandemic, these tours will be conducted in places of interests such as Chinatown, Little India and Marina Bay Sands, alongside a separate arrangement for food tours. Each group tour will cost a flat S$55 (US$40) for up to five guests, with all proceeds going towards the guides.

“Our guides have essentially seen their entire income stream disappear, and we were worried that many of our excellent guides were reconsidering guiding as a viable career option. We hope this initiative will help to raise awareness for their situation among the local community. Mentally, we also want to generate a positive attitude towards the recovery of travel, and encourage the guides to start honing their skills again,” said TY Suen, founder & CEO of Woopa Travels, the parent company of Monster Day Tours.

The agency is in discussions with hotels to include the SG55 tours as part of their staycation packages. To encourage sign-ups, the company will also sponsor a S$10 Grab voucher for each booking, and two free tickets to its new Virtual Bingo Tours.

The Virtual Bingo Tours, launched this week, targets consumers who wish to explore Singapore from the comfort of home. On these tours, which are hosted on Zoom, participants will follow a guide on livestream through a unique part of Singapore, while playing games to win prizes.

Each ticket is priced at S$10, and participants stand to win a variety of prizes, including the grand prize of S$1,000. The first tour, covering the one-north district, will be held on July 18 and 25; the second will visit Gardens by the Bay, with dates to be announced. More attractions, including behind-the-scenes visits, are being developed.

Suen shared: “Many of the existing virtual tours we tried did not feel engaging enough as they were either pre-recorded or self-guided tours. To stay true to the ‘live’ nature of tours, we decided to launch a new type of experience and gamify the tour – something we’ve always wanted to do as well.”

While the virtual tours are primarily aimed at the local market, Monster Day Tours will also engage the overseas market through paid marketing, digital ads as well as the Singapore Tourism Board.

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