Supply hurdles challenge effectiveness of new Singapore tourism strategy: trade players

A straw poll shows industry members welcoming the Singapore Tourism Board (STB)’s blueprint to sustain recovery momentum and “secure the future of tourism”, saying it stayed close to the heartbeat and DNA of the destination.

But questions remain, like how to deliver and play up the Singapore brand of quality with maximum impact, as businesses grapple with difficult market conditions, they told TTG Asia.

Industry members are concerned on delivering the Singapore brand of quality amid challenges faced by businesses

There is demand, according to one established DMC, but the agency is facing a tight room supply situation, high hotel rates and a manpower shortage issue, which hindered its ability to bid for some RFPs and it has had to turn business away.

The DMC managing director said: “There are not enough guides and drivers – we could only get 20 trishaws when we needed 80 and we were unable to confirm the rooms and price. When a cruise arrives, we need an extra 40 staff, but are unable to find them.”

Not only that, the company has to spend more time recruiting as well as having to pay higher salaries.

Daniel Chua, founder and chief executive of AONIA, an experiential communications agency, commented: “To support recovery, a holistic approach beyond demand-centric marketing tactics is essential to address supply side challenges. An imbalance would lead to negative experiences that would negate any gains in attracting visitors.”

During the recent Travel Industry Conference (TIC), STB’s chief executive Keith Tan noted Singapore’s strategy would focus on three Rs – Redefining our Destination, Reconnecting with our Fans, and Reinventing our Industry – which will be supported by a host of marketing and product initiatives and unveiled progressively.

A highlight of this year’s TIC was the announcement of a S$10 million (US$7.5 million) Singapore On-screen fund to put Singapore up front and centre, which Chua commented was “too little overall, but can seed pre-production”.

Chua, who has a film background, noted that the cost of “making a good film or music video, with some minor celebrity talent, would cost around US$2 million”.

Recalling that STB’s war chest to promote business events some years back was more than S$120 million, another industry observer described the sum as “an appetiser” and “not the main course”, adding that “an impactful initiative has to come with a significant budget”.

Sponsored Post