With Covid-19 restrictions now a relic of the past, our beloved Changi Airport is abuzz with activity again as the aviation sector continues to make a strong recovery.
And living up to its name as the world’s best airport, passengers who transit through Singapore can sign up for a free tour if they have a few hours to spare.
Lasting two-and-a-half hours, transit passengers can choose between four different tours, including a brand new addition that takes in the sights and sounds of Changi and Tampines.
Touring the heartlands
There is more to Singapore than the glitzy downtown and civic district that conjure up images of Crazy Rich Asians.
And that is precisely what the new Changi Precinct Tour aims to showcase by introducing visitors to Tampines – a unique residential town that grew from a swampy, forested area into a regional centre and United Nations World Habitat Award winner.
With an itinerary that includes Tampines New Town, Tampines Hub, and Tampines Central Park, visitors can get a glimpse into the lives of everyday Singaporeans.
In addition, the tour will also take in the recently refurbished Changi Chapel and Museum and historic Changi Beach Park. Both are sites associated with the Battle for Singapore and the Japanese Occupation during World War II.
Tourism, a pillar of our economy and nation
In 2019, around 68 million passengers passed through Changi Airport, cementing Singapore’s status as a global transport hub.
Moreover, Singapore’s geographic position within six hours of any Southeast Asia country, parts of China and Australia has made us popular with transit passengers.
To make Changi Airport an even more attractive and unforgettable transit stop, the Free Singapore Tour, first introduced in the eighties, aims to entice visitors to go beyond the walls of the airport and inspire them to visit Singapore in the future.
But why is this important? For a start, tourism is one of the main pillars of our economy. When tourists splash out on the dollar, they contribute to our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and support the numerous industries vital for creating jobs for Singaporeans.
The next thing is something we might not always see but could definitely feel when borders were closed due to the pandemic. Without visitors, there was a distinct lack of vibrancy and cultural diversity, ingredients crucial in making Singapore the global and cosmopolitan city-state it is today.
Beyond that, tourism has subconsciously instilled a sense of pride in each of us. It makes us proud to call ourselves Singaporeans, knowing that despite being a little red dot on the world map, people have travelled thousands of miles to marvel at our greenery, modernity and cleanliness.
And now that visitors are returning to Singapore, we can be sure that the tourism sector will continue to grow, recover and reach new heights.
Photo Source: HDB/NParks/STB