Singapore government steps up its official "Romancing Singapore" campaign
In a city where many singles say they are too busy making money to make love, the government plans to step up its official "Romancing Singapore" campaign on Thursday, the traditional lovers' day, to encourage people to take up dating.
The campaign, launched in 2002 and managed commercially by the private sector since 2005, has lined up a series of events throughout February and on Valentine's Day itself to try to reverse the falling birthrate.
And a separate initiative sees the government directly funding efforts to promote romance.
In 2006 it launched the one-million-Singapore-dollar (704,000 US) Partner Connection Fund to support dating agencies that come up with what it called new "social interaction opportunities" for singles.
"A lot of countries, they let nature take its course but in Singapore because of our work and lifestyle, we don't have a lot of time," said Andrew Chow, a manager with Romancing Singapore.
"We are trying to educate the singles that dating is in fact a lifestyle. I think nowhere else in the world does things like Singapore."
Among the events Romancing Singapore has planned to give Cupid a helping hand is an evening date on the newly-opened Singapore Flyer, the world's tallest observation wheel of 42 storeys high.
The Valentine's Day event, billed as "Love In A Capsule," is organised by Romancing Singapore and Clique Wise, another social networking outfit.
Love comes at a price, though -- a date on the Singapore Flyer costs 140 US dollars, which includes a gourmet dinner at a spa resort. All 24 slots have been booked, said Chow.
Violet Lim, co-founder of dating agency Lunch Actually, agreed Singapore's fast-paced lifestyle has made it hard for couples to connect.
"We play the role of an introducer," she said. "A lot of people who join us, they are not exactly people who can't find dates on their own. I would say it's more due to their schedules."
由“浪漫新加坡”和Clique Wise社交中介所组织的“Love In A Capsule”活动在情人节当天举行。
Lunch Actually 婚介所的创办人之一Violet Limy也认为，新加坡快节奏的生活方式使得人们很难与异性接触。