Published on : Wednesday, April 7, 2021
From the change of an annual food festival into a virtual affair with live classes to the gamification of a walking tour where participants can solve puzzles while exploring Chinatown, tourism players amid COVID-19 are now reinventing their businesses with technology.
Digitalization and new technologies were already “disrupting” the tourism sector before COVID-19, and the pandemic has stepped up the move in how people and businesses connect with one another, according to Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun.
“In a world where visitors are not constrained by physical boundaries, travel is no longer just about meetings or sightseeing but the unique suite of experiences that it offers to visitors, from pre-arrival to post-departure,” Chan Chun said at the Singapore Tourism Board’s (STB) annual industry conference.
He added, “The next bound of growth for the tourism sector will come from creating quality end-to-end experiences, curated to the needs of travelers.”
The minister said that Singapore will have to continue making use of technology to reinvent the experiences it offers to travelers, announcing the launch of a new platform known as the Tourism Technology Transformation Cube (Tcube) that will provide the “go-to resource” for tourism businesses during their digital transformation journeys.
“The initiatives under Tcube will enable tourism businesses to meet like-minded tourism stakeholders to facilitate knowledge exchange, test innovative ideas through proofs-of-concept and pilots and equip themselves with the tools to build and scale sustainable business models,” Chan Chun said.
STB’s chief executive Keith Tan said that the board will lengthen its Tourism Accelerator programme for another two years until September 2023.
The programme was first started in 2019 to assist tourism businesses source innovative solutions to deal with challenges. Till now, it has supported 21 start-ups to develop 35 industry solutions.
Mr. Tan said that the tourism board will continue to work with partner agencies to draw companies with technology and digital solutions that would be important fo Singapore’s tourism sector.
“We need you to provide the demand to test these solutions, to run pilots and see if they can be scaled up quickly,” Mr. Tan said at the conference.