Malaysia – As Resorts World Genting is well-known for its cool highland weather, thrilling theme parks, majestic hotels, and unique gaming offerings, the hotel aims to prove that it is more than what meets the eye. Its latest ‘Welcome to My World’ campaign directs the spotlight to its lesser-known features such as its nature, spa and dining front and centre. 

The campaign was developed together with The Shout Group’s boutique branding agency IGNITE, and was conceptualized to change the idea that Resorts World Genting only have few hotel offerings for Malaysians and other tourists.

Ong Shi-Ping, co-owner and chief creative officer of The Shout Group said, “The most powerful ideas are often encapsulated by the simplest expression. Our campaign is simply echoing what’s already on the tip of everyone’s tongue, and using that simple truth to reset their perception to see for themselves that Resorts World Genting is truly a place where they can proudly say, Welcome to My World. It’s brilliantly simple.”

The campaign comes with a star-studded music video where catchy lyrics encourage tourists to experience the hotel’s must-try offers. The music video also highlighted inclusivity, which is a major part of Resorts World Genting’s vision.

“Inclusivity has always been a major part of the Resorts World Genting vision. In fact, it’s the very foundation of everything we do here and it’s what makes us such a unique resort destination in the first place,.” added Kristine Lee, Genting Malaysia’s assistant vice president of marketing.

Spencer Lee, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Genting Malaysia, added, “As Malaysia’s premier integrated resort destination, Resorts World Genting is truly for everyone. If you look at all the diverse out-of-this-world experiences we have brought to the resort throughout the decades, you will find the perfect testament to our dedication in making this place a holiday destination for all.”

Launched on 5 January, works from the campaign can be seen across all of Resorts World Genting’s media channels, including ATL, BTL, digital and social media.

Singapore – As reopening of borders have now allowed more travellers to visit choice locations, a large majority of Singaporean travellers want to have their hotel stay offer some tech-related service for reasons of accessibility and low-frequency contact with other people, according to the latest study conducted by Oracle Hospitality and Skift.

The research notes that 80% of people in Singapore want hotels to offer tech that minimises contact with staff and other guests, and 86% are interested in hotels using AI to deliver more relevant offers.

Meanwhile, 52% want to order room service from their phone or a chatbot, 52% are also looking for contactless payments with only 5% wanting to pay in crypto, and 46% wanting a fully self-service model, with staff only available upon request.

In terms of travellers’ perspective of a contactless hotel experience, 46% said they want a fully contactless experience for all basic hotel transactions, and 38% said a staff shortage, and resulting slow service, would be their first deterrent to rebooking a hotel. However, just 20% noted that a lack of daily room cleaning is an issue, showing consumers have accepted that this pre-pandemic mainstay is never coming back.

Staff-wise, 72% of Singapore’s hoteliers said incorporating new technologies for staff best describes their strategy to weather labour shortages and attract new talent. Meanwhile, 62% added that their highest priority is to adopt tech that improves or eliminates the need for the front desk experience between now and 2025. 

Patrick Andres, regional vice president for hotels and food & beverage in JAPAC at Oracle, said, “We have seen how technology has reshaped and enriched guest experiences in new ways. Guests have now come to expect highly digital, self-service experiences across all aspects of their lives, including travel, and the hospitality industry must move at the same pace by adopting and integrating new systems in order to better serve the modern traveller.”

Over the next few years, travellers are also looking to personalise their journey even more by picking their exact room and floor and paying for only the amenities they want – and even wanting to pre-screen properties in the metaverse (76%). Moreover, 86% are interested in hotels using AI to better tailor services and offers, such as room pricing or food suggestions and discounts. Around 52% of hotel executives in Singapore see this ‘unbundled’ model as the future of hotel revenue management. 

Whether ordering room service or signing onto Netflix, Singapore travellers want the ease and convenience of home while travelling, with 51% saying on-demand entertainment access that seamlessly connects to their personal streaming or gaming accounts is their #1 must-have during their stay. Likewise, 48% of hotel executives said this in-room entertainment set-up is what they’re most likely to implement by 2025.

Meanwhile, 87% of travellers are interested in using automated messaging or chatbots for customer service requests at hotels, 41% want voice-activated controls for all amenities in their rooms, and 37% want room controls that auto-adjust temperature, lighting, and even digital art based on pre-shared preferences. 

Singapore – Vouch, a Singapore-based travel tech startup that offers its guest experience platform to hotels in various markets, has successfully closed its US$1.1m seed funding, to which they aim to target to open European operations, starting off with the setup of their operations in London, United Kingdom.

This marks the company’s third in-country branch along with its presence in Indonesia and South Korea, to which they will be looking to build on its new and existing partnerships with hotel chains in these markets for expansion.

Vouch provides AI-powered technology to the hospitality and travel segment, including attractions and malls, to enhance productivity, boost revenue and elevate the overall guest experience. The company firmly believes that with technology as an enabler, properties now have the freedom and the ability to focus on things that truly matter.

Said funding was led by Forge Ventures, and will be used for expansion and product development for a new category of technology for hotels: the guest experience platform.

The company’s guest experience platform allows guests to check-in, make room requests, order food and beverage and get instant answers to commonly asked questions, just by scanning a QR code on their mobile phones.

Furthermore, Vouch has seen wide adoption of its platform in Asia to improve productivity through the streamlining of hotel operations and providing round the clock services for hotel guests.

According to Joseph Ling, founder and CEO at Vouch, the company has rolled out its services and partnered with noteworthy hospitality brands in Asia and is now looking to expand globally. For instance, they have covered 25% of all rooms in Singapore under international groups such as Frasers Hospitality, Hyatt Hotels, Pan Pacific Hotels Group and the InterContinental Hotels Group.

“There is a genuine need for a solution that helps hotels improve manpower efficiency and the pandemic has accelerated this need. Our plan this year is to expand aggressively into new markets that will benefit most from a productivity platform like ours, namely Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea and the United Kingdom,” Ling stated.

While travel and tourism have remained low across the world due to COVID-19, Vouch aims to help businesses and consumers in these sectors cope better in a pandemic.

“By incorporating Vouch into their operations, businesses can better plan for manpower requirements and avoid greater uncertainty associated with fluctuating pandemic intensity and accompanying social distancing requirements,” the company said in a press statement.

Singapore – Redhill, the Singapore-headquartered public relations and communications agency, has recently won the account for the launch of Kimpton Kitalay Samui, the first resort in Thailand under IHG Hotels & Resorts’ luxury boutique brand, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants.

The remit entails the agency to plan and execute a full launch strategy. This is the second Kimpton hotel in Thailand following the brand’s debut in October 2020 of Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok, which Redhill also managed the launch of.

“We are thrilled to be working with the Kimpton brand once again to further its distinctive hospitality concept in Thailand,” said Tavy Cussinel, managing director of Redhill. 

“Redhill and Kimpton Kitalay Samui have a shared interest in communicating a differentiated stay experience driven by the power of human connection,” added Cussinel. 

The resort’s name is derived from two Thai words, which are ‘kita’, meaning ‘song’ or ‘singing’, and ‘lay’, which translates to ‘sea’ and which tries to encapsulate the spirit of the local community. ‘Kitalay’, thus, is meant to stand for ‘a joyous ode’ by Kimpton celebrating the ‘siren song’ of the sea as well as ‘the warmth’ of human connection and community in an ‘idyllic escape’. This branding, the agency said, is woven into every aspect of the resort. 

The 138-key luxury boutique beachfront property on Choengmon Beach will open later this year. The resort features luxury pool villas with direct access to the beach and guestrooms with private access to the pool or the views over the Gulf of Thailand. 

This luxury boutique resort aims to conjure the romance of a village that is ‘intimately’ connected to the sea through a combination of contemporary design and traditional accents.

Michael Janssen, general manager of Kimpton Kitalay Samui, said, “Kimpton Kitalay Samui will be our take on the return of the Samui way of life, and celebrate adventure as well as a taste of village living through the resort experiences, four restaurants, and bars.”

On the new partnership, Janssen commented, “It was absolutely vital to us that we work with an agency that fully understands our dedication to thoughtful curation and meaningful, unscripted, and ridiculously personal guest experiences.” 

Last June, Redhill entered MARKETECH APAC’s top stories for its new senior appointments

In an exclusive interview, the agency’s CEO and Founder Jacob Puthenparambil shared how Redhill has always eyed for the global name despite starting out as a boutique agency. 

“We knew from day one that we didn’t want to be a boutique agency. We’re going to fight the big boys,” said Puthenparambil. 

Established in 2014, the agency is embedded in Southeast Asia, with a reach that extends to Northern Asia, Europe, Australia, UAE, and the US. The agency is currently present in 17 countries.

Singapore – In response to customer feedback that hygiene plays a major role in the lookout for new accommodations, online travel agency Agoda recently announced HygienePlus, a new verification feature that shows how hotels and other accommodations maintain hygiene standards within their premises.

The feature provides an extensive checklist that accommodations have to follow in regards to sanitary and hygiene protocols which include safety protocol trainings, contactless check in/check out, temperature check, mandatory wearing of face masks, disinfection of rooms, sterilization of equipment, and signs to observe proper social distancing.

 According to Agoda’s latest survey, Asian travelers noted “Hygiene Standard Listings” as a top priority for checking in at accommodations. The survey also revealed “Daily Room Disinfection” and “Daily Disinfection of general areas” to be the most important hygiene measures travelers expect to be implemented by hotels and other accommodation providers.

“People are raring to travel again but need the reassurance that hygiene measures at their destination are rigorous. Hoteliers and accommodation providers need to regain the confidence of travelers and have been working hard to implement safety measures to do so. HygienePlus quickly and easily identifies hotels that are ensuring a safe and hygienic environment,” Omri Morgenstern, chief operating officer at Agoda stated.

Haryana, India – ViralOps, a global hospitality tech company has recently worked with JW Marriot Hotel New Delhi Aerocity to understand the grassroots level of operational concerns while on lockdown. 

ViralOps pilot-tested its utility tool Vserve Pro-Techt , a one of its kind “Contactless + Efficiency” Tool that digitizes every touchpoint including F&B, spa, housekeeping, and transportation services.

In a press release by ViralOps, the company said that Vserve Pro-Techt is only one-fifth of the cost of such a utility tool.  

After a rigorous certification process, Vserve Pro-Techt got its first approval from Marriott International hotels across Asia-Pacific. With more than 50 hotels being onboarded, ViralOps is still in the process of receiving numerous implementation requests from various hotels in the region.  

They are now servicing branded hotels in Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, and Maldives.

Manila, Philippines – In its efforts to boost domestic tourism in the Philippines, AirAsia has partnered with local hotels in the country to launch SNAP, a new flight and hotel platform on which offers convenient fly and stay packages.  

The airline will be offering an introductory SNAP promotion of up to 50% off on flights when consumers book a flight and hotel via the platform. This special promotional fare will be available on from 21 to 27 September 2020, for travel from 21 September 2020 to 25 March 2021.

The airline assures in its press statement that it will be complying with advice and regulations from the local government, civil aviation authorities,  and global and local health agencies, including the World Health Organization. 

The company said that guests can expect enhanced safety measures throughout the entire journey, including pre-flight, in-flight, and arrival processes. These include the mandatory wearing of face masks to be permitted to travel, among others. Guests will also be advised to check and comply with measures implemented by local airport authorities for a smooth travel experience.

AirAsia Philippines CEO Ricky Isla said, “We are pleased to launch SNAP in the Philippines to be able to provide new and affordable offerings on, especially for business travelers and those planning for their future getaways once leisure travel is permitted.”

Isla added, “Aside from developing as Asia’s fastest-growing super app, this initiative has opened up opportunities to work with partner hotels, as we start to recover from the effects of the pandemic which have devastated the travel and tourism industry. We look forward to forming more partnerships with more hotels in the future.”