Founder of Makansutra and advocate for everything hawker, KF Seetoh, took to social media criticizing the Singapore Tourism Board (STB)’s new initiative to lure tourists here with 3D models of Singapore icons.

In a Facebook post on Saturday (Oct 24), Mr Seetoh wrote: “This one also very escape me la. Use 3D model animation to promote Merlion and hawker stalls..so tourist can view it on their phones”.

The initiative aims to enable prospective tourists to able to view 3D models of Singapore icons like the Merlion from their living room, as part of an augmented reality (AR) push by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

In an interview, Mr Poh Chi Chuan, STB’s acting chief technology officer, told The Straits Times that the tourism board is building a database of such content that businesses in the industry can use to promote Singapore as a destination and enhance their on-site experience.

He added that this initiative was to help local businesses provide a better end-to-end experience for visitors, which will be key in the future of travel as consumers become more selective in their destination choices.

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“The idea was to show how technology can showcase our travel icons. If so, and a traveller overseas can see it on the phone there, then game over liao, no need to come la”, Mr Seetoh wrote, responding to the Straits Times article.

“If its about tourism, then, make them really want to come experience the real deal (that looks like the real deal) the second borders open mah, not finger about the app and then cannot recognise the real thing when they arrive”, he added.

Instead of AR, Mr Seetoh asked about real experiences such as “taking 3D photos of a real hawker stall or flying drone (permission from the almighty powers) around the Merlion and letting them lao nua over it”. /TISG