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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Ant Group expands partnership with STB to drive tourism demand from Asia to Singapore

Manila, Philippines – Ant Group, the owner and operator of Alipay, has expanded its partnership with Singapore Tourism Board (STB) to make cross-border travel to Singapore more seamless and convenient. The partnership builds on the collaboration forged in 2019 and is focused on driving tourism growth in Singapore through a series of digital and marketing initiatives over the next two years. 

To strengthen Singapore’s destination appeal among travellers from Asia, including key markets like Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea, and Thailand, Ant Group launched the ‘SingapoReimagine with Alipay+’ campaign with STB. As part of SingapoReimagine, STB’s international recovery campaign, it will offer fresh and innovative experiences to travellers from the said markets, whilst allowing transactions in Singapore through mobile wallets that consumers are familiar with. 

The joint campaign will also highlight exclusive offers to users of the six Alipay+ partner mobile wallets when they travel to Singapore. In addition, Ant Group will progressively expand the ‘Passion Made Possible Privileges’ (PMPP), a mini programme co-branded with STB to serve tourists to Singapore – previously available only on Alipay – to other Alipay+ mobile wallets. These initiatives aim to help Singapore businesses reach and engage a new pool of customers, increasing the visibility and awareness of Singapore’s tourism offerings for visitors before and during their trips to Singapore. 

As part of the partnership, STB and Alipay+ will also explore piloting digital solutions with local businesses in areas such as digitalisation of service operations, digital marketing efficiency and enhancing customer experience. 

The new mobile wallets accepted in Singapore are GCash from the Philippines, TrueMoney from Thailand, and AlipayHK from Hong Kong SAR, China, adding to existing partners Kakao Pay from South Korea, Touch ’n Go eWallet from Malaysia and Alipay from the Chinese Mainland. 

Angel Zhao, president of international business at Ant Group, said, “We deeply believe that the benefits of digital innovations can be amplified through open collaborations in the ecosystem. Ant Group is always open to join hands with partners such as STB to provide businesses, especially small and micro enterprises the best digital services, including payments and marketing solutions and we are committed to contributing to the digital transformation of industries and create greater value for societies.” 

“Amid the fast recovery of the tourism industry, we are excited to play a part in promoting Singapore as a top destination of choice for travellers and making travel safe, seamless and efficient through digital solutions like Alipay+,” she added. 

STB Chief Executive Keith Tan said, “Singapore has seen strong travel demand from Asia since our reopening and we hope our joint initiatives can grow and sustain that demand. The next phase of our exciting partnership with Ant Group will also offer a seamless experience when travellers visit Singapore, build affinity for our destination, and drive the digitalisation of our tourism sector.”

Based on STB’s data, Hong Kong SAR, China, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, and Chinese Mainland were among Singapore’s top 15 markets in 2022. Prior to the pandemic, approximately a third of Singapore’s visitors were from Southeast Asia, and another third from the Chinese Mainland and the rest of Northeast Asia. 

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

STB sparks global conversation on travel through new forum series

Singapore – The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has launched ‘SingapoReimagine Global Conversations’, a new forum series that puts industry game-changers on the global stage. Featuring speakers across different sectors, disciplines, and locations, the series outlines new travel experiences and business models that demonstrate how the travel industry has innovated and adapted for the future. 

STB Chief Executive Keith Tan said that the needs and expectations of travelers are changing significantly. He commented that as borders gradually reopen around the world, the tourism industry must work together to innovate, develop solutions and reimagine what the new travel experience can and should be. 

“With SingapoReimagine Global Conversations, we hope to provide a platform for such innovation, and a voice for leaders in the tourism sector and beyond,” said Tan.

SingapoReimagine Global Conversations is a key part of STB’s SingapoReimagine initiative, which was launched last year to affirm the destination’s commitment to shaping a new standard for travel, through safety, technology, experiences, and sustainability.

The series comprises three key forums, with overseas adaptations. The first forum titled ‘Reimagine Experiences’ is available on-demand in four video episodes released weekly on STB’s website and YouTube channel. The first episode under the first forum dropped on 8 September. 

The episodes will tap into the top minds in tourism and lifestyle, through a rich blend of interviews, rapid-fire questions, and data insights, to inspire new collaborations and ideas. 

The other two forums, ‘Reimagine Travel Journeys’ and ‘Reimagine Sustainability and Wellness’ will focus on the themes of travel journeys as well as sustainability and wellness, and will be introduced later this year and in the first half of 2022.

The new SingapoReimagine Global Conversations will spotlight different topics with speakers from across various industries, which include Felix Loh, CEO of Gardens by the Bay; Michael Lee, CEO of Hustle & Bustle; and Charu Kokate, principal & director of Safdie Architects; and Chong Siak Ching, CEO of National Gallery Singapore, among others. 

In the first episode, global trend forecaster and data partner WGSN unveils deeper insights into three future traveler profiles that will influence the future of the travel industry, as well as actionable steps for industry stakeholders. The three profiles are ‘The Wander Must’, ‘The Mindful Explorer’, and ‘The Slow Pacer’.

‘The Wander Must’ are the early adopters of technology and digital experiences, while ‘The Mindful Explorer’ are the nature and outdoor lovers who are likely to make sustainable choices. Meanwhile, ‘The Slow Pacer’ are travelers who place great importance on recharging and in seeking wellness destinations. 

The next episode, which will be released on 15 September is titled ‘A Whole New (Phygital) World’, which will discuss the convergence of digitalization and experiences to address the business needs of today and tomorrow. 

To further the discussion on reinventing the travel experience, SingapoReimagine Global Conversations will be rolled out in overseas markets in localized formats. The forum series will roll out in the USA and China in 2021, while in UK & Dubai, the series will be released in 2021-2022. 

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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

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.