Folks can try their hands at colouring traditional Peranakan tiles in addition to making bracelets in Chinatown this weekend for the reason that Chinatown Business Association (CBA) presents a threat to draw the crowds returning to the once bustling spot.

Shops and eateries inside heritage site were hit badly from the dramatic fall in tourist numbers over the past few months amid the Covid-19 pandemic along with travel restrictions.

To encourage locals to visit the area, the CBA has organised an array of workshops where visitors will be shown learning to make Chinese knotted bracelets, grow their own vegetables and herbs, and colour Peranakan tiles by using markers.
Booths have been setup in Sago Street for these activities, with attendance capped at groups connected with five. Other attractions include old-school games including hopscotch and snakes and also ladders.

CBA executive director Lim Yick Suan said she hoped the actions would "increase domestic targeted traffic to Chinatown, strengthening its position being a cultural, heritage-rich hot spot".

She added that Covid-19 preventive measures will be in area. These include temperature taking, safe distancing and periodic cleaning of workshop gear.

Ms Amelia Tay, 34, is among those keen to go to the area over the particular weekend, saying that she'll be taking her five-year-old child, Andrea, to Chinatown this particular weekend.

"It'll be fun to expose her for the games I used to play during a vacation and hopefully she will learn something in the workshops, " Ms Tay claimed.

These heritage-themed activities form portion of a monthly line-up with events in Chinatown.

A few "wellness workshops" is tentatively slated for the following month, where herbal tea tenants will share medical benefits of their treatments.

But not everyone is convinced in regards to the efficacy of these activities.
Mr Lucas Tok, lecturer plus marketing competency lead from Singapore Polytechnic's Business Institution, said that businesses in the area have to cut down their reliance on visitor dollars and reach out instead to locals through e-commerce platforms when they hope to survive.

"Places like Tiong Bahru and Keong Saik can easily bring in locals without having losing their rich heritage and they might be seen as a formula of how Chinatown can certainly evolve, " he reported
The CBA declined to reveal what number of Chinatown stores have sealed since January, or how far retail sales have fallen compared with the same period not too long ago. But a handful regarding street vendors and retailers contacted through the Straits Times said income had plunged by at the very least 50 per cent seeing that travel restrictions were added.

Ms Jane Yee, SIXTY, a storekeeper at Feng Shui Specialist, said the shop promoting souvenirs and religious paraphernalia for the past 16 years would close in a very month or two.

"We are attempting to cut our losses by selling tenacious stock at 50 percent discount, " she claimed in Mandarin.
Ms Wang Shan Shan, 36, the waitress at hotpot skewers bistro Li Ji Chuan Chuan Xiang, said business had dropped by 50 % when the tourists ended coming.

Mr Mohamad Jahubar, a new shop assistant at Victoria Reward Centre, which sells handicrafts in addition to collectibles, said business has fallen by above 80 per cent considering that February.

He said that wage subsidies from your Government had helped even so the shop owners have must dig into their savings to keep the business going.

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