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Investigation Gives Student-Athletes Closer Look At Tourism

Secondary 3 Geography Field Trip

By Ashley Victoria Lok
Bowling Academy, Secondary 3

Chinatown on 24feb21.jpg
Streets of Chinatown void of tourists during the Secondary 3 Geography students' field trip
to the popular tourist destination. Photo by Ashley Victoria Lok.

On 24 February 2021, Singapore Sports School’s Secondary 3 Geography students set off on a field trip to Chinatown to find out more about tourism in Singapore. We had to file a report which included a land use survey, a pedestrian count, as well as observation studies to really understand what draws tourists to visit Chinatown when they travel to Singapore.

However, due to the global pandemic and the fact that we went there on a weekday, during non-peak hours, there were not many people in the area which is usually bustling. Many of the shops were devoid of customers and the streets quiet. From our secondary research, we also discovered that many shops closed in the past year due to huge losses suffered from the lack of tourists. The China town today is no longer the same as before. Many of us had previously been to Chinatown so we used our past experiences to compare it to the Chinatown that we used to know.

The field trip was a blast because not only were we able to bond with our classmates, we also had the chance to observe our surroundings and study at the finer details of the tourist spot which we had not noticed before despite having visited the destination many times before. We realised how badly tourism has been affected in Singapore due to travel restrictions resulting from the pandemic, thus negatively affecting the country’s economy as well.

Learning outside of the classroom was also refreshing. It was great to finally step outside and learn something new along the way, and in a different way too. Observing the many elderly folks playing chess in Chinatown, we realised that Chinatown is not just a tourist destination. It is also a place close to the hearts of many locals who grew up in the area.

“The trip was enjoyable and it was interesting to experience the drastic changes that tourist destinations have gone through because of this pandemic. I finally understand tourism better and I can better relate to the facts my teacher talks about in class,” said bowler Eng Yihui.