STB Partners with Visa to Boost Tourism and Lifestyle SMEs

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The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) announced Thursday it entered into a 3-year partnership agreement with the world’s leader in digital payments, Visa. According to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by both parties, the needs of Singapore’s tourism and lifestyle small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the impact from the coronavirus on them will be addressed.

The partnership with Visa is the latest in a series of measures undertaken by the STB, seeking to revive local tourism industry. Under the MoU, Visa and the STB will join efforts in reseach and analytics, as well as in marketing partnerships. Developed in phases, the deal includes scaling up of the partnership into joint international marketing, driven by data insights from the combined research, as soon as international travel resumes.

Research and Analytics

Regarding the area of research and analytics, focus will be on the changes in domestic and international consumer behavior induced by the restrictions stemming from the coronavirus economic and social environment. By identifying new trends and untapped opportunities and relaying these to local SMEs, the STB and Visa are looking to facilitate industry adaptation with the new business ecosystem.

The research phase was already kick-started by a joint report, Impact of COVID-19 on Tourism in Singapore and the Road to Recovery and Transformation, in which local brands were identified as the worst hit from the virus, experiencing double-digit negative growth partly due to the lack of online presence.

The collaboration in research and analytics will also focus on business travel, which, for one of the world’s leading business travel destinations like Singapore, is seen as key as it represents the country’s highest yielding segment. Besides improving the competitive edge of Singapore as a global business destination, the in-depth study is looking to provide guidance for future marketing campaigns.

Marketing Partnerships

The marketing effort will start with a domestic marketing campaign targeted at raising the awareness of local SMEs through the use of cardholder promotions to boost domestic consumption, and once international travel resumes, international campaigns will be launched.

To encourage Singapore residents to shop at local retailers and thus support the economy, the STB and Visa will synergize their #SingapoRediscovers and #WhereYouShopMatters respective campaigns. The tourism board’s campaign which started in July, in collaboration with Enterprise Singapore and Sentosa Development Corporation, a statutory board under the purview of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, is encouraging local people to uncover stories and experiences in Singapore.

#WhereYouShopMatters campaign was initiated by Visa in August and is looking to support local SMEs by encouraging consumer spending from one side, and facilitating adaptation to the requirements in the new business environment, from the other.

The second phase will centre on international marketing efforts, promoting shopping, dining, sight-seeing, events and entertainment experiences in Singapore through content creation and tourist privileges, and it will be launched in key countries based on their readiness to travel.

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