Singapore tourism SMEs clinch lifeline from STB-Visa MoU

Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Visa have signed a three-year MoU to buoy up tourism and lifestyle SMEs that have been impacted by Covid-19.

The collaboration focuses on two areas to revive the local tourism industry: marketing partnerships, as well as joint research and analytics.

STB, Visa partner to drive local spending and support tourism and lifestyle SMEs battered by Covid-19

In the first phase of their marketing partnership, which will be launched in October 2020, both organisations will tap on their respective campaigns – #SingapoRediscovers and #WhereYouShopMatters – to encourage Singaporeans to shop from local retailers and support the domestic economy.

STB and Visa will also roll out joint campaigns centred on three key themes: Escape, Feast and Shop. These themes are aligned to encourage spending at hotels, attractions, F&B outlets and other local retailers. Partnership efforts will also profile homegrown brands and business owners, including showcases of how SMEs can adopt e-commerce and technology such as contactless payments.

In the second phase of the marketing partnership – when international travel resumes – experiences, events and activities in Singapore will be promoted through content creation, promotions and tourist privileges. These campaigns will be launched in phases in key markets based on readiness to travel. STB and Visa will also trial initiatives to drive incremental spending through cross border e-commerce.

Under the push for joint research analytics, both organisations will combine proprietary data, as well as research and analytical capabilities, to derive insights on how Covid-19 has changed domestic and international consumer behaviour. These insights will help identify new trends and opportunities that will be shared with local SMEs.

This has been kickstarted by the collaboration’s first report, Impact of Covid-19 on Tourism in Singapore and the Road to Recovery and Transformation. The report found that local brands are the worst hit, experiencing double-digit negative growth, with a lack of online presence; while Orchard Road and Marina Bay were the hardest hit precincts.

In the next phase of their data and research collaboration, STB and Visa will focus on the impact of Covid-19 on business travel. Business travel represents the country’s highest-yielding segment, and this in-depth study will identify changing behaviours, new trends and growth opportunities to guide future campaigns on capturing inbound business tourism spend.

As international travel gradually resumes, the partnership will be scaled up to include joint international marketing, powered by data and insights derived from their combined research. The aim is to develop marketing strategies and initiatives to help Singapore businesses capture demand once global travel resumes.

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