The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has announced a new initiative, "SingapoReimagine," to reintroduce travel to Singapore and around the world. The "SingapoReimagine" platform will kick off with “Reimagine Travel –Global Conversations,” a series of forums around the world to catalyze discussions among STB and its global partners on how to reshape global travel. Closer to home, STB will also roll out “ReimagineTravel in Singapore,” a series of engagements with locals and tourism partners to co-create ideas and spur the renewal of Singapore tourism.
Both initiatives will be launched in 2021, and more details will be announced in due course.
STB chief executive Keith Tan said in a press announcement: “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 was possible a year ago.”
Increased Traveler Confidence
While it will take time for mass international travel to resume, there are promising signs of future demand, according to STB. In Singapore, a Brand Health Study across 14 markets, conducted by STB’s appointed market research company Ipsos in August revealed that leisure and BTMICE travelers maintain a strong perception of Singapore being a safe destination to visit, despite COVID-19. According to the study, confidence in traveling overseas for leisure and business has been steadily increasing, with 76 percent of international leisure travelers and 90 percent of BTMICE travelers indicating they are likely to travel in the next 12 months, if possible.
“We are extremely encouraged by the findings of our Brand Health Study, which points to positive traveler confidence in Singapore and is a broad indication of market readiness and appetite for travel," said Tan. "STB is confident in Singapore’s attractiveness as a leading business and leisure destination, and we will gradually commence our market engagement efforts in line with the health situation and prevailing travel policies.”
A "Reimagined" Singapore for Visitors
"SingapoReimagine" is also about creating a new standard for travel. Over the past few months, Singapore’s tourism sector has shown both resilience and ingenuity to meet the evolving needs of visitors and ensure that every aspect of their experience is safe and enjoyable. Here are some things STB is working on:
Safety and Technology
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 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).
Technology is at the heart of these safety efforts. From the use of contactless technology and cleaning robots, to the TraceTogether app and token (the world’s first national digital contact tracing tool), Singapore aims to make travel safer, yet seamless and efficient. Technology is also creating new possibilities for tourism offerings: Virtual experiences, hybrid meeting venues and events, and even robot baristas are offering new ways to delight visitors.
As we await travel’s return on a larger scale, STB says Singapore is rethinking how its global audience can continue to experience the city innovatively. STB has since collaborated with Airbnb Experiences, and became the first international destination to partner with them on its new Online Experiences portal. Hosted by Singaporeans, the “Singapore Virtual Trips” collection introduces authentic Singapore experiences—ranging from a sustainability themed tour of Gardens by the Bay to a view into a Peranakan home museum The Intan—and brings them straight into the homes of our audience around the world.
As the Global-Asia connector hub for business and leisure, Singapore is also setting new benchmarks for future travel connections. The inaugural TravelRevive led the way in reimagining the future of business and networking events. Held over November 25-26, 2020, TravelRevive was the first major travel trade show to take place physically in Asia Pacific during the global pandemic. Close to 1,000 local and foreign attendees participated in almost 600 scheduled buyer-seller appointments. Singapore’s newly developed hybrid trade show prototype for safe business events and safe itineraries was piloted during this event, highlighting new digital enabler tools such as automated check-in kiosks and even hologram meeting functionalities.
City and Nature
Looking further ahead, Singapore aims to be the world’s most sustainable urban destination. It is investing in new products and pilots that consider the needs of the community and the environment. In fact, Singapore is on track to achieve this vision with nature-based concepts in places of interest, such as Jewel Changi Airport and Gardens by the Bay. There are additional plans in the pipeline to accelerate Singapore’s transformation into a “City in Nature”, with developments planned over the next decade including sustainable lifestyle districts, nature clusters, eco-friendly accommodations and wildlife attractions.
"SingapoReimagine" as a Platform for Stories
As travel gradually resumes, the story of these new experiences—for both leisure and business events—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.
STB will also use "SingapoReimagine" as a platform to step up marketing Singapore as a business events destination known for safety, innovation and trust. It will catalyze short- to mid-term consideration of Singapore among business event planners through media partnerships, digital and social channels, as well as increased business development efforts.