As part of a three-year collaboration, Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and The Walt Disney Company South-East Asia are set to bring a raft of Disney-related events and activities to the city-state, they announced today at the STB's annual Tourism Industry Conference.
This means Star Wars fans can get to meet Chewbacca and Kylo Ren next month as these characters make their maiden appearance in the Republic.
STB chief executive Lionel Yeo said: "The multi-year activations will profile our attractions and precincts in Singapore, beginning with Gardens by the Bay for the Star Wars festival held in May."
They will also "offer plentiful opportunities for local event organisers and small and medium enterprises to grow their businesses and enhance their capabilities in world-class branded entertainment events”, he added.
The first of its kind between Disney and a national tourism body in South-East Asia, the tie-up is aimed at boosting the appeal of Singapore's tourism offerings and attracting more visitors. Last year, tourism arrivals and receipts hit a record high of 16.4 million tourists who spent S$24.8 billion here. The target for this year is to increase the number of visitors by between up to 2 per cent, and receipts by one to four per cent.
S Iswaran, Trade and Industry (Industry) Minister, said the STB is working with the Urban Redevelopment Authority, Land Transport Authority as well as private sector partners on ways to remake Orchard Road.
Short-term plans include activating parcels of state land and expanding the pedestrian mall through a progressive road reduction programme. In the longer term, the street may be fully pedestrianised to serve as a "multi-purpose space where diverse and large-scale experiential concepts can be introduced," he added.
Starting with the Star Wars theme this year, Disney and STB will bring in Marvel-themed events next year and Disney Animation/Disney Pixar-themed events the year after.
The collaboration will kick off with a three-day festival at Gardens by The Bay on May 4, which is marked as Star Wars Day.
The gardens' Supertrees will be transformed into lightsabers, and it will be complemented with a light and music show. There will be character appearances and photo opportunities, with the event capping off with a themed night run and screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens at the race village.
More Star Wars-related events are in the pipelines for the second half of the year, and the STB said details will be released closer to the date.