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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

‘Hello from Singapore’: STB in Malaysia launches new docuseries for future travelers

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) in Malaysia has launched its new docuseries titled ‘Hello from Singapore’, a lineup of stories on how industry players in Singapore are reimagining their businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

‘Hello from Singapore’ is part of the STB’s ongoing effort to allow Malaysians to relive old favorites and discover new experiences through the SingapoReimagine, a major campaign launched by the board to create conversations, stories, and engagement in shaping local  tourism. The new docuseries consists of 10 Singaporean stories from various establishments across different industries such as food, retail, and entertainment.

The first in the docuseries has rolled out last 13 April, featuring Marcus Foo, the managing director of coffee boutique PPP Coffee, while the second episode with David Wee, the founder of vintage store Wee’s Collection was released on 20 April.

In the coming days, viewers will also be able to catch the stories of several industry personalities, including Bella Koh from health and beauty business SLOWHOUSE, Chris Ng from travel agency FootWorks Media, and Andrew Yap from cocktail bar The Old Man Singapore, as well as Benjamin Goh from caviar brand Caviar Colony, among many others.

According to Dawn Ng, the area director of the Singapore Tourism Board in Malaysia and Brunei, the new docuseries is a step forward to ensure Singapore remains an aspirational destination for all as they work towards the safe return of travelers. 

“We want to share a glimpse of how our community is making the best of their everyday lives and reinventing their work as we recover from this pandemic. We hope these stories will give a healthy dose of assurance, inspiration, and seed the desire for future travelers to discover and reimagine Singapore when travel resumes,” said Ng.

A new episode will be released every Tuesday on the “VisitSingapore” Facebook page.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

STB launches second season of SG Stories Content Fund with S$2.5M in funding

Singapore – The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has announced the launch of the second season of SG Stories Content Fund (SGSCF) with a funding pool of SG$2.5M, following the success of last year’s first-ever SGSCF.

The first season of SGSCF was launched in April 2020 with an initial funding pool of S$2 million. Its aim was to spur tourism enterprises, content creators, and individuals to craft authentic stories around the themes of ‘Strength, Resilience, Solidarity, and Unity’. It has attracted a total of 559 proposals, spanning a variety of formats such as mini-documentaries, narratives, profile features, and animation. Due to the overwhelming response, the funding pool was raised to S$2.5M, and 20 applicants were awarded.

Meanwhile, for this year, the theme for the second season of SGSCF is ‘Singapore: The Unique and The Unknown’. It aims to showcase Singapore’s unique aspects. Local and international content creators are encouraged to create compelling stories about interesting and lesser-known facets of Singapore while building on STB’s ‘SingapoReimagine’ initiative. The projects should highlight extraordinary and authentic ‘Singapore-only’ experiences by going beneath the surface to uncover the spirit of what makes Singapore truly special.

Singapore or overseas-based individuals and registered businesses in areas such as production, media, tourism, digital marketing, and influencer marketing can apply for the fund. Each application may take the form of a single video or a series of videos.

Applications for the second season of SGSCF will open on 10 May 2021 and close on 24 May 2021. The fund will support 90 percent of qualifying costs in categories such as creative development and conceptualization, production and execution, and marketing and distribution, capped at S$150K per project, or whichever is lower. Successful applicants filming in Singapore are required to adhere to the Singapore Government’s prevailing Safe Management Measures, and any additional guidelines as advised by STB.

Georgina Koh, the director of digital and content at STB, said, “During the first season, we were humbled by the wealth of passionate content creators within and outside of Singapore, and their unique perspectives of what our city has to offer. With the second season, we hope to uncover more stories and fresh perspectives, that will encourage travelers and locals alike to experience Singapore in new ways.”

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Technology Featured Southeast Asia

Informa Tech, IMDA, STB join forces for ‘Asia Tech X Singapore 2021’

Singapore – A new flagship technology event is on its way this year, as integrated research provider Informa Tech, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) have entered in a memorandum of intent (MOI) to host the event on July 13 to 16 this year at the Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore Expo.

The event, called ‘Asia Tech X Singapore 2021’ or ‘ATxSG’ for short, will convene government, tech, and business leaders for dynamic and open conversations on technology’s pivotal role in tackling some of the region’s biggest challenges, and powering digital innovation for the advancement of Asia. 

“As technology media and event specialists, we are keenly aware of how bringing together the technology ecosystem on a global platform to share their knowledge and talent can be a powerful tool to drive the change we want to see in the world,” said Carolyn Dawson, managing director for Informa Tech

“We are excited to tap into our international networks to bring tech leaders to Asia; facilitate conversations around the use of tech for good and share new insights on innovations that will make an impact in the region,” added Dawson. 

The upcoming event will be hosted in a hybrid format and will feature event segments such as ‘ATxSummit’ – an invite-only conference hosted by IMDA, ‘ConnecTechAsia’ – Informa Tech’s B2B trade show in Asia, and ‘Elevating Founders Asia’ and ‘accelerateHer Asia’ – highlighting the startup ecosystem and diversity in tech respectively. ATxSG will also feature a host of fringe events to be announced in due time. 

“ATxSG is looking at delivering that uniquely Singaporean experience while bringing together government and digital leaders to discuss how the public and private sectors can converge and propel Asia’s digital economy to the top of the list. We look forward to engaging in face-to-face, ground-breaking conversations on creative tech, talent and governance with the vision that ATxSG will shape the outcome of our region’s shared digital future,” said Howie Lau, assistant chief executive of IMDA’s media and innovation group

IMDA has been active in the past to promote digital transformation strategies in the country, which included the promotion of local media talent, and providing training with Shopee’s parent firm Sea for 500 trainees.

Meanwhile, Yap Chin Siang, deputy chief executive for STB commented, “We are delighted to partner IMDA and Informa Tech to launch ATxSG in Singapore, an event which takes full advantage of our position as a trusted Global-Asia hub. In a time of great disruption, Singapore’s vibrant knowledge economy and focus on innovation make us an ideal platform for like-minded people to exchange ideas and spark new possibilities in the digital space.”

Yap added, “We will continue to work closely with our industry partners to reimagine the future of Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conventions & Exhibitions (MICE) and set Singapore apart as the world’s leading destination for safe, trusted and innovative business events.”

STB has also been proactive in many marketing partnerships that utilize technological practices in promoting tourism, such as their partnership with American game company Niantic to use the game ‘Pokemon Go’ to promote local tourism, and their partnership with travel booking platform Klook to promote ‘staycation’ bundles for tourists.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

SG to anchor ‘catalytic’ dialogue on global tourism via new STB initiative

Singapore – As if the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) hasn’t made clear its strong intention to revive tourism, here comes a new initiative which seeks to provide a space for catalytic dialogue on tourism, not just to bring back to shape the country’s but the world’s as well.

Called SingapoReimagine, the platform aims to spark conversations, stories, and ideas to collectively shape the future of the country’s sector. The initiative will be kicked off by “Reimagine Travel – Global Conversations,” a series of forums on reactivating global travel. 

For a start, STB will be sharing its learnings on how the public and private sectors have come together to create new possibilities for the country’s visitors. As part of the forums, global partners will be invited to share knowledge and exchange ideas, with the first one in Singapore next year, before being hosted in other parts of the world.

Closer to home, STB will also roll out “Reimagine Travel in Singapore,” a series of engagements with passionate members of the local community and tourism partners to co-create ideas and spur the renewal of Singapore tourism. This complements the SingapoRediscovers domestic campaign, which encourages locals to rediscover and reconnect with Singapore’s hidden gems and experiences. Both of the forums will be launched in 2021. 

COVID-19 is the biggest crisis we have ever faced in travel and tourism. But it also offers us an opportunity to reset and revive our industries in ways that we never imagined were possible a year ago. The journey to reimagine travel has already started in Singapore, and we want to continue this journey with those whose voices matter – our community in Singapore, and our partners here and around the world. We look forward to co-creating ideas and strategies with all of them, to make travel better.

Keith Tan, chief executive at STB

STB said SingapoReimagine will also about creating a new standard for travel. The initiative will be rolling out the following sub-initiatives:

Reimagine Safety – STB has been working closely with industry partners to elevate health and safety measures based on new national standards so that future visitors can enjoy the city’s refreshed experiences with added peace of mind. Such initiatives include the SG Clean Quality mark, which requires tourism establishments to adhere to stringent levels of hygiene and sanitization as well as Safe Management Measures (SMMs).

Reimagine Technology – Technology will be the heart of these efforts. From the use of contactless technology and cleaning robots, to the contact tracing app TraceTogether and token, the world’s first national digital contact tracing tool, Singapore aims to make travel safer, yet seamless and efficient. Virtual experiences, hybrid meeting venues and events, and even robot baristas are now offered, enabling new ways to delight visitors without compromising on safety.

Reimagine City & Nature – Looking further ahead, Singapore aims to be the world’s most sustainable urban destination. That is why the country is investing in new products and pilots that take into account the needs of the community and the environment, such as the ambition to transform Singapore into a “City In Nature” over the next decade, developing the Jurong Lake District Tourism Development to be a world-class lifestyle destination, and reimagining the Mandai Precinct as a world-class eco-themed nature cluster, with the introduction of new wildlife attractions as well as eco-friendly accommodation offerings 

The SingapoReimagine initiative will also be used as a platform for stories. As travel gradually resumes, the story of these new experiences – for both leisure and MICE – will be told through SingapoReimagine. STB will be working with international and in-market media key influencers as well as content and trade partners to engage audiences in key markets to drive the anticipation for travel in Singapore.

The move is with the aim of further marketing Singapore as a safe MICE destination, in order to rebuild short to mid-term consideration of Singapore among MICE event planners.

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SME Featured Southeast Asia

STB’s “Made With Passion” initiative puts spotlight to local lifestyle products

Singapore – As a complementary part of the tourism board’s ongoing “SingapoRediscovers” campaign, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) launched the “Made With Passion” campaign that puts focus on local lifestyle products in the country.

The campaign, made possible in partnership with the Singapore Brand Office and support from Enterprise Singapore, will feature local products from these categories: beauty & wellness, fashion & accessories, homeware & décor, and packaged food and beverage (F&B).

Initial stages of the marketing campaign will include a new brand mark for the partner local brands, whether in product packaging, in-store, and online. This then ensures brands show a strong connection with the Singaporean local community.

“Passion is at the heart of our Singapore story. We are also home to a host of innovative and iconic brands that have been created with passion.  By sharing the stories behind both established and up-coming brands, we hope that more people will be able to rediscover well-loved brands and be wowed by the myriad of brands that speak of our passion and creativity,” stated Lynette Pang, advisor to the Singapore Brand Office and assistant chief executive (Marketing Group) of STB. 

Local trade association support will also be also seen within this initiative, with support coming from the Association for Small Medium Enterprises (ASME), Restaurant Association of Singapore, Singapore Food Manufacturers’ Association, Singapore Furniture Industries Council, Singapore Retailers Association, and Textile and Fashion Federation.

“The Made With Passion initiative is most timely. ASME is very pleased to support this initiative as we recognise that it takes great passion and commitment to build, nurture and grow a brand. The launch of Made With Passion also reflects a maturing of our market in appreciating homegrown brands.  We can be proud of local brands and help them flourish,” said Chew Lee Ching, vice-president for awards and special projects at the (ASME).

Dilys Boey, assistant chief executive officer at enterprise Singapore commented, “The Made With Passion initiative is a gateway for Singaporeans to discover more of our local brands. With greater awareness and interest, Made With Passion will be able to amplify positive brand attributes of our Singapore brands across the wider lifestyle sector. We hope that Made With Passion will elevate Singapore brands collectively and help them achieve greater success.”

The campaign will be amplified online via the campaign’s upcoming website and social media pages.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

STB ups tourism campaign ante through Pokémon Go

Singapore – As part of the board’s ongoing SingapoRediscovers tourism campaign, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is partnering with American augmented reality (AR) technology company Niantic to promote and support local businesses through the game Pokémon Go.

Pokémon Go, which is known as an AR-based game, will allow players through this strategic partnership to discover tourism establishments and lifestyle offerings. Throughout the game, players can capture Pokémons and visit newly-placed virtual PokéStops and Gyms, amounting to 300 of them, across tourist spots in the nation.

Once players visit these PokéStops and Gyms on Pokémon Go, in-app STB ad campaigns will appear and take users to a microsite, describing all offerings and promotions of STB through various partner tourism establishments. Furthermore, the game encourages walking around and discovering other local business establishments and nearby precincts. 

“We are excited by this collaboration with Niantic, which allows us to connect with the passionate community of Pokémon GO players in a fun and innovative way. As they pursue their favorite Pokémon across Singapore, we hope players will explore our precincts, discover hidden gems, and support local business – while staying safe and observing the necessary precautions,” Lim Shoo Ling, STB’s brand director stated.

Gary Chang, APAC business development lead at Niantic commented that “Our strength is to influence people to walk physically from location to location, and we are hoping to utilize this to encourage people to explore different parts of Singapore in-depth and boost domestic travel needs.”

There are future plans in this partnership to host Pokémon GO special Raid Battles in some partner areas to further boost local business tourism in the country.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Next on SingapoRediscovers campaign: holiday bundles on ten key destinations

Singapore – Since the inception of the SingapoRediscovers campaign by Singapore tourism agencies in July, the Singapore Tourism Board has been amplifying its efforts to introduce programs to encourage locals to explore the country. The latest on its lineup? A holiday bundle promo among ten precincts.

Included in the precinct roster are Civic District, Joo Chiat/Katong, Kampong Gelam, and Sentosa. Dubbed as taking a “Singapoholiday,” each precinct is chosen for its rich history and culture, and its suite of experiences that locals can enjoy. 

Hotels, attractions, tour operators as well as retail and dining establishments have come together to offer bundled promotions for each precinct.

STB Chief Executive Keith Tan said the board is heartened by the response from industry partners who have come up with innovative products and partnerships to appeal to locals.

“We would like to thank locals for supporting our local businesses and rediscovering our city over the past few months. As the holiday season draws near, we hope they can take a Singapoliday too. There is so much to explore and do in our vibrant precincts. Each has a unique story to tell and homegrown businesses that need our support,” he said.

There are around 50 bundled promotions housed on the SingapoRediscovers microsite and the VisitSingapore app. Bundled promotions for each precinct will feature a combination of various products, including staycations, attractions, tours, as well as retail and dining offers.

For example, in Marina Bay, travel agent The Traveller DMC curated a staycation-attraction package with Mandarin Oriental, Singapore, and Gardens by the Bay. Meanwhile, in Kampong Gelam, boutique hotel The Sultan and local tours coordinator Tribe Tours paired up to offer a promotion for a staycation and an Instagram photography tour, taking guests to explore different areas of the precinct, including Bugis and Waterloo Street. STB said more bundled promotions will be introduced in the coming months.

In addition, STB has designed Singapoliday itineraries across the 10 precincts, which can be customized to help locals plan mini-holidays of up to three days within each precinct. Each itinerary will feature recommended hotels, attractions, tours, as well as retail and dining establishments. 

To further encourage locals to take a Singapoholiday, STB will be releasing a 10-episode video series called S.P.I.E.S, highlighting each of the precincts included in the program.

An acronym which stands for Secret Places in Exciting Singapore, episodes will spotlight lesser-known fun facts and discoveries of each precinct, where each episode will be hosted by a Singapore celebrity and shown on STB’s YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram platforms.

To be launched in November, the pilot will feature actor Tosh Zhang visiting Little India to explore its hidden interesting spots such as a vintage garment shop and a hotel filled with artworks and sculptures. In tandem with the continuous rollout of holiday bundles, STB will be releasing more content in the coming months including a video series titled “How to not waste your annual leave,” hosted by actors Chua Enlai and Michelle Chia.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

STB to integrate Singapore to Airbnb Experiences platform

Singapore ﹘The Singapore Tourism Board (STB)  has partnered with Airbnb to co-promote and grow a range of unique and authentic Airbnb experiences on the Airbnb Experiences platform.

Experiences are a feature within Airbnb’s platform that facilitates activities such as workshops and treks, enabling bookers to immerse themselves in the host’s environment. 

The partnership will have three pillars: the development of Singapore Experiences in the new tourism landscape, the co-marketing of destination Singapore, and the facilitating of data and knowledge exchange to enable effective tourism recovery.

For the Singapore Experiences, the two organizations have developed and launched Singapore Virtual Trips, a collection of online experiences hosted by Singapore tourism industry partners and featured on a dedicated landing page on the Airbnb platform. This first-of-kind destination page will also provide compelling Singapore destination content, offering international travelers an opportunity to explore the country virtually during this challenging period. 

Singapore Virtual Trips features a wide array of online experiences, including a sustainability-themed tour at Gardens by the Bay’s Cloud Forest, a virtual visit to Peranakan home museum ‘The Intan’ with owner Alvin Yapp, an interactive bingo tour of the one-north tech precinct by Monster Day Tours, and a behind-the-scenes peek into the rich history of the Old Kallang Airport with Jerome Lim, founder of heritage website The Long and Winding Road. STB said that more tourism industry partners are expected to join this initiative following the first wave.   

In a statement, STB said, “This partnership will encourage Singapore tourism businesses to take their products online and pivot towards innovative hybrid business models, as the industry reimagines the future of tourism.”

Deputy Director of the Cloud Forest at Gardens by the Bay Chad Davis, who will be hosting the ‘A Mountain Under Glass – Cloud Forest’ online experience, commented, “This is an exciting new way for Gardens by the Bay to continue to delight people, enabling us to connect with friends and fans around the world. I look forward to sharing my passion for our Cloud Forest and helping virtual visitors rediscover the region’s most extraordinary cooled conservatory through this unique virtual format.”  

Beyond Online Experiences, both parties will also collaborate in the future to onboard unique and authentic in-person Airbnb Experiences across various categories, including dining, nature, wellness, and the arts. Aimed at the long-term development of the Singapore Experiences sector, both parties will work with local tourism industry partners to continuously offer differentiated and fresh experiences to travelers. 

In terms of the co-marketing initiative, STB and Airbnb will jointly produce a lineup of co-branded content featuring destination Singapore and Airbnb Experiences, to be served across their respective platforms and channels. They also plan to make such content available to travel industry partners via STB’s Tourism Information and Services Hub (TIH).  

In addition, both parties will work towards extending destination information, tools, and benefits to Airbnb Experiences guests  – such as exclusive offers unlocked through sign-ups for the VisitSingapore app.

With data exchanges, on the other hand, Airbnb Experiences and STB will mutually share insights and best practices to grow experience offerings in Singapore and aid in strategic tourism development and recovery. To kick start this, Airbnb Experiences has invited STB to access their City Portal, a first-of-its-kind data-sharing platform built exclusively for governments and tourism organizations to equip them with travel insights and other relevant resources. 

STB said, “Data and knowledge exchange will help both parties onboard more targeted Singapore Experiences, refining tourism products, and services in this new environment through a deeper understanding of the evolving traveler profile.”

Meanwhile, Senior Vice President for Policy and Communications at Airbnb Chris Lehane said that healthy travel meant to travel that keeps the economics local and is authentic to the culture of the destination. 

“In the context of seeking to support such healthy travel, we are excited to be partnering with the Singapore Tourism Board to promote experiential travel in one of the world’s most vibrant and dynamic communities. I have personally enjoyed Airbnb’s Singaporean cooking Experiences and know that such Experiences unlock new ways to discover Singapore through its greatest natural resource – its people. And it is through using the Airbnb platform to showcase the incredible people of Singapore to the world that, working in partnership with the Singapore Tourism Board, we can help support the recovery of international tourism,” said Lehane. 

STB Chief Executive Keith Tan also commented, “STB’s partnership with Airbnb Experiences is a timely one. As travel gradually resumes, we want to focus on strengthening Singapore’s brand image in the minds of audiences around the world, and ensure that our destination remains top-of-mind. This partnership will also give passionate Singapore hosts a world-leading platform to reach out to quality travelers globally, while helping them innovate and explore new business models. We are excited about working with Airbnb, and look forward to breaking new ground together.”

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Singapore Tourism Board, Klook launch S$2m domestic marketing partnership

Singapore – The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and travel booking platform Klook have teamed up to launch a S$2 million domestic marketing partnership to drive the rediscovery of Singapore’s tourism and lifestyle offerings. The partnership is under the SingapoRediscovers campaign, and is inked to last seven months-long starting this September.

SingapoRediscovers is a recently launched campaign, spearheaded by agencies Enterprise Singapore (ESG), Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC), and Singapore Tourism Board (STB) to support the local lifestyle and tourism business in Singapore and encourage locals to explore different sides of the country. A total of S$45 million has been set aside for the campaign and its supporting marketing initiatives. 

The partnership with Klook will have three focus areas: curated promotions for products and experiences, content development, and digital marketing to boost spend.

Under the partnership, businesses – ranging from hotels and attractions to tour operators and dining establishments – will be encouraged to develop new products and experiences. The aim is to inspire locals and encourage them to explore precincts such as Orchard Road, Chinatown, Civic District, and Katong-Joo Chiat. 

These new products and experiences will also be curated into special bundles with attractive offers to appeal to different interest groups such as foodies, outdoor enthusiasts, and value seekers.  

An example would be pairing a stay at Mandarin Orchard Singapore with an Art Jam session in Orchard Road, or complementing a stay at Hotel Mono in Chinatown with a journey on Trishaw Uncle Guided Tours.

To encourage further exploration around the country, STB and Klook will collaborate on digital marketing efforts, where the parties look to create authentic stories through Klook’s pool of key content partners and opinion leaders. Digital content such as video reviews and livestreams will cast a spotlight on hidden gems and value-for-money promotions, as well as raise the profile of various home-grown businesses around Singapore.

Both parties will also co-invest in other digital marketing initiatives, such as search engine marketing, display, and social media advertising, to widen the reach and searchability of the various promotions and offerings under the campaign.

STB Assistant Chief Executive for Marketing Lynette Pang commented, “Through SingapoRediscovers, we encourage locals to explore Singapore, experience our vibrant tourism and lifestyle offerings, and support home-grown businesses. Klook shares the same aim. We look forward to leveraging their digital marketing capabilities and extensive network of partners to amplify our efforts, as well as encouraging their users to support curated local experiences, quality promotions, and content in the coming months.”

Meanwhile, Marcus Yong, vice president of marketing in Klook for APAC said, “Klook is excited to partner with STB and to be part of SingapoRediscovers. Our mission has always been to empower consumers to experience the best of a destination and through this partnership, we hope to bring back a sense of joy and adventure as locals explore their own backyard.”