SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and DBS are partnering to stimulate domestic tourism demand in the immediate term as well as drive cross-border demand and tourism industry development in the middle to long term.
They have inked a three-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) in the first such collaboration between STB and a local bank.
The tie-up will leverage DBS's services - such as its travel marketplace portal, digital payments collection solutions, predictive analytics and the bank's everyday app DBS PayLah! - to "help the tourism industry seize new opportunities", both parties said in a press statement.
In addition, DBS and STB will help local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the tourism industry accelerate their digital transformation.
To boost domestic tourism demand, the tourism board and the lender will invest in domestic marketing campaigns for home-grown products and experiences.
These will complement the SingapoRediscovers campaign, which was launched in July and led by STB, Enterprise Singapore and Sentosa Development Corp.
DBS and STB will curate promotional bundles for attractions, tours and hotel stays.
The bank will also tap its predictive analytics and intelligent-banking capabilities to provide personalised itineraries and dynamic destination content. This is meant to encourage locals to explore the country's different precincts and learn about the myriad home-grown brands and experiences.
Moreover, both parties will create and distribute content to increase awareness, consideration and consumption of local tourism experiences and brands.
This content will be amplified across DBS's platforms, including its travel marketplace, social media communities such as The Burrow, and marketing channels.
The next phase of the partnership will target inbound leisure and business visitors through international marketing campaigns, as Singapore progressively opens its borders.
Similar to their tie-up for the domestic market, DBS and STB will customise content and introduce promotions and products for international visitors.
Examples are flight and accommodation bundles, business events and travel insurance plans.
DIGITALISING TOURISM BUSINESSES
As more locals are shifting their everyday payment and banking needs to mobile phones and online platforms, DBS and STB will help home-grown tourism SMEs transform digitally so they can reach out to customers more easily and boost customer engagement.
This should also enable the businesses to better thrive in the new post-Covid-19 environment.
Both the bank and the tourism board will partner local businesses to pilot smart experiences such as contactless digital payments at various precincts, for instance.
As a start, DBS and STB will launch a campaign to increase demand for and encourage the use of DBS PayLah! within the Bugis precinct by the end of the year. This pilot in Bugis will involve merchants such as the Eighteen Chefs restaurant, whose managing director Roger Wong said he hopes to incentivise customers to use cashless payments, by offering them cashback rewards.
The collaboration will help Singapore's tourism industry get back on its feet, said Shee Tse Koon, DBS Singapore country head.
"In addition, we look forward to supporting our local SMEs by leveraging our customer base, data insights and technology to help them build up their resilience and unlock more business opportunities," he noted.
STB chief executive Keith Tan said the strategic partnership will reach a large community of local and international consumers, and encourage them to discover, explore and support local tourism businesses.
"These efforts will ensure that Singapore remains a safe, trusted and preferred destination for all our visitors," Mr Tan added.