Outgoing chief executive Keith Tan will step down on 31 May.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) has appointed Melissa Ow, currently Executive Vice President for Customer Experience, Marketing & Investment Facilitation Group at the Economic Development Board (EDB) as Chief Executive of the Singapore Tourism Board (STB). She will begin her new role from 1 June 2023.
Ow was seconded to EDB from STB in June 2020. At EDB, she played a key role in transforming the organisation’s B2B sales and marketing model. She drove the global promotion of Singapore’s business brand and EDB’s marketing and communications in key markets such as Europe, US, China and Japan. Through enhancing EDB’s customer engagement capabilities, she led her teams to raise new investments from foreign companies.
Melissa is not new to STB, having held several positions in STB with the last position as Deputy Chief Executive, where she led STB to put Singapore on the world map for hosting premier events and attracting major tourism investments.
As Deputy Chief Executive, she headed the Experience Development Group and the Corporate Group and was responsible for ensuring that Singapore has a strong line-up of quality tourism products spanning events, dining, retail, and sports to entertainment, new tourism concepts development, and precinct development. Melissa also oversaw STB’s corporate functions such as legal, procurement and corporate administration, finance, and human resources.
Tan assumed the appointment of chief executive of STB on 29 October 2018, during which he led STB in developing, marketing, and promoting Singapore as a vibrant destination for quality business and leisure travellers. He also led STB to anchor world-class events in Singapore, including new events associated with major brands.
He grew the MICE industry, positioning it as an enabler of Singapore’s role as a key Global-Asia hub and a valuable source of business opportunities for Singapore companies. In addition to strengthening the digital and data capabilities of STB and the tourism sector, Keith also championed sustainability and wellness as key strategies for Singapore tourism. These efforts culminated in the inaugural Singapore Wellness Festival in 2022 and Singapore becoming the first country to be certified as a sustainable destination based on the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s Destination Criteria in 2023.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and international borders were closed, Keith guided the tourism sector to support the fight against COVID-19. Under his leadership, hotels, cruise lines and MICE venues rallied to serve as dedicated facilities for recovery and care, while tourist guides and displaced workers were deployed to support national efforts. Tan also guided efforts to safely reopen the tourism sector from late 2021, leading to the resumption of large-scale business and leisure events and the full reopening of tourism facilities and infrastructure in 2022.