Singapore births framework for tourism recovery, development

To help tourism businesses tide through the downtime amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has developed a new framework featuring new platforms for easier digitisation and potentially faster recovery.

Under the three-step framework coined Learn Test Build, companies can learn to identify gaps and opportunities in their business models through the STB Tech College, as well as a new self-diagnostic tool, the Tourism Transformation Index (TXI).

Quek: tourism businesses hoping to survive and thrive in the new normal will need data, insights and ability to test and scale new products fast

TXI provides a holistic gauge of a company’s current state of digital transformation across six areas: leadership and organisation, process and operations, customer, innovation, technology, and data. Businesses can then identify the next steps that they should take to advance their state of transformation. TXI is being launched this quarter.

“TXI is like a company’s annual health check-up in this age of disruption. On STB’s end, this is an important first step that will allow us to identify areas of intervention for our stakeholders,” explained Quek Choon Yang, chief technology officer, STB.

Under the “Test” stage, STB will launch ThreeHouse, a new physical space at its headquarters where companies can collaborate, workshop and prototype new ideas and solutions. If successful, these ideas will be picked by STB to be scaled to a bigger platform. ThreeHouse will be launched in 4Q2020, and co-located with the Singapore Tourism Accelerator, another programme under the “Test” section of the framework.

Finally, the “Build” stage encourages businesses to formulate viable and lasting solutions. Besides information provided on open-sharing platform, the Tourism Information and Services Hub, STB has also opened its tourism data pool, the Singapore Tourism Analytics Network (STAN), to the tourism industry.

Businesses can now access 10 years’ worth of Singapore’s visitor arrival data broken down by market, region, visitor profile and mode of arrival. They will be able to gain consumer insights, create visualisations, analyse datasets and collaborate with other players on data analytics projects.

This platform is essential for businesses to “identify where the pockets of opportunities are once the tourism industry shows signs of recovery”, said Quek, elaborating that “certain sectors and certain source markets will recover quicker than others”.

He continued: “Post-Covid, we expect consumer behaviour and the norms for travel to change for good. Consumers are likely to come out of the pandemic with a heightened sense of hygiene, both personal and environmental.

“Hence, it is important for tourism businesses to build trust with consumers, provide safety for visitors and be able to influence consumer choices. To survive and even thrive in this new normal, businesses need to be armed with the right data, insights and ability to test and scale new products fast.”

STB will soon conduct an industry-wide capability upskilling programme and engage stakeholders, including hotels, attractions, business event companies and travel agencies, on how to adopt STAN and data analytics in their businesses.

Future updates for STAN include enhanced capabilities such as advanced data visualisation and analytics, as well as sandboxes for users to collaborate and co-create data models.

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