Lionel Yeo, chief executive of the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), will be stepping down from his post on 31 May to join the private sector.
Appointed as chief executive in 2012, Yeo has come to be known as the “face” of STB over the years and is responsible for one of the board’s biggest projects so far: its 'Passion made possible' campaign, which was developed with the Economic Development Board.
The campaign’s aim was to present Singapore as a vibrant, interesting and innovative place by recruiting a number of Passion Ambassadors who draw inspiration from the city. Some of these included chef Malcolm Lee and Muay Thai fighter Nabilah Razak.
Under Yeo's tenure, Singapore welcomed a record number of 17.4 million inbound visitors in 2017, equating to SG$26.8 billion (US$20.4 billion) in tourism receipts.
On top of that, Yeo initiated 'Singapore: Inside out' which showcased creative talent to refresh international perceptions of Singapore, as well as Design Orchard to profile Singapore’s design talent along Orchard Road.
He is also a supporter of the business events division of STB, and played a part in securing Singapore’s bid to host international sporting events such as the BNP Paribas WTA Finals, the Singapore Rugby Sevens and the International Champions Cup. He also pushed for the renewal of the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix through 2021.
“Under Lionel’s leadership, STB has worked closely with the tourism sector to strengthen our value proposition and product offerings which has helped Singapore achieve consistently strong tourism performance,” said Loh Khum Yean, permanent secretary for the Ministry of Trade and Industries.
Melissa Ow, currently deputy chief executive of STB, will be appointed acting chief executive with effect from June 1 until a new chief executive is appointed.