Jane Iyer, founder of Jane’s Singapore Tours, was interviewed recently for a Straits Times article by Travel Correspondent Clara Lock called Small Travel Players Hanging On.
The upbeat, though realistic, article showcases the tenacity and passion of a handful of boutique Singapore-based travel purveyors like Jane’s SG tours who “are doing all they can to stay afloat and retain staff.”
Jane explains in the article that she thought long and hard about the future of her company in such challenging times.
“In the end, I decided that I love what I do even if I lose money hand over fist,” Jane said.
The silver lining in the global suspension of international travel is that there are some pretty creative tours being cooked up in Singapore these days, to attract the domestic market.
The article points out that last October Jane collaborated with clairvoyant Dani van de Velde to launch tours that combine history and the supernatural in areas such as Dempsey Road, Alexandra Park and Bukit Brown Cemetery.
In these tours, Jane or one of her colleagues tell stories from Singapore’s past such as that of the 1915 Sepoy Mutiny where more than 400 sepoys, or Indian soldiers under British employ, revolted in an uprising that led to the deaths of 40 soldiers and civilians. Indeed, military history is unsurprisingly fertile ground for the supernatural so when coupled with Dani talking about other worldly matters, the result is a fascinating experience.
The article discussing Singapore Tour and Travel Outlook 2021, also shared a few details on Jane’s newest offering—twice-monthly salons at her home, where people can meet and mingle with interesting folks in Singapore’s community, from theatre directors, actors and producers, to photographers, writers and antiques experts.
“One of the challenges of domestic tourism is persuading Singaporeans and long-term expatriates that there is value in going on a tour and discovering things about their own country,” Jane said.
Author Clara Lock concluded that despite the uncertain outlook, companies like Jane’s SG Tours intend to remain in the travel space when the world recovers, banking on the belief that pent-up demand will spur a surge in travel when borders open.