Last year, Singapore clocked in S$27.7 billion (US$20.4 billion) in tourism receipts. Understandably, the numbers will be more dismal this year, but Singapore Tourism Board (STB) refuses to go down without a fight. Its SingapoRediscovers campaign, launched in July and worth SG$45 million (US$33 million), is said to be the largest marketing drive introduced in Singapore to boost local demand. Singaporeans will also get SG$320 million (US$236 million) worth of local travel credits from the government in a bid to encourage domestic spending.
Here's a look at STB's efforts so far.
'Dance to a new beat'
Last week, STB released a stunning film—conceptualized by TBWA Singapore—featuring artists from the Singapore Dance Theatre performing at prominent landmarks across the country including Gardens by the Bay, the ArtScience Museum and Jewel Changi Airport. The background score was provided by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.
Also last week, STB inked a SG$2 million (US$1.48 million) partnership with travel booking platform Klook to "drive the rediscovery of Singapore's tourism and lifestyle offerings". According to STB's CMO Lynette Pang, the Board will leverage Klook's digital marketing capabilities and network of partners. The partnership has three focus areas: curated promotions for products and experiences, content development, and digital marketing to boost spend.
To encourage travel within Singapore, STB and Klook will create "authentic stories" through Klook's pool of key content partners and opinion leaders. From video reviews to livestreams, the objective is to cast a spotlight on hidden gems and value-for-money promotions, as well as to raise the profile of various home-grown businesses around Singapore. Both parties will also co-invest in digital marketing initiatives, such as search engine marketing, display and social media advertising.
STB and Mastercard have teamed up to take on the challenges facing domestic tourism in the city-state with a new partnership to improve visitor experiences. Under the agreement, "the partners will identify opportunities to work together on joint marketing and advertising campaigns that will drive visitorship to Singapore's tourism offerings, as Singapore prepares for the gradual return of international visitors," a joint press release stated.
The partnership, under Mastercard's City Possible program, also includes a range of other collaborations to address challenges faced by Singapore's tourism industry that includes new joint technologies and sharing data such as spending patterns to help the sector pivot to new audiences and improve the visiting experience for post-COVID travellers.
Last week, Visa announced a three-year pact with STB to address the needs of Singapore's SMEs in the tourism and lifestyle space that have been impacted by COVID-19. The collaboration focuses on two strategic areas to revive the local tourism industry: joint research and analytics and marketing partnerships.
As international travel gradually resumes, the two partners will scale up to include joint international marketing, with insights derived from their combined research. The aim is to develop marketing strategies to help Singapore businesses capture demand once global travel resumes.
STB and Visa 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 be shared with small business owners to help them build their own campaigns.
In July, STB released a campaign to encourage Instagram users across Southeast Asia to share their favourite travel throwbacks from their photo library by using a customised Instagram effect available on STB's Instagram page. The Board worked with various local partners in Southeast Asia to welcome other national tourism organisations, tourism providers and travel stakeholders to be a part of this effort to inspire 'wanderlust' for the region.
Food supplier Prima Taste joined forces with STB to remind Singaporeans that food remains a medium to 'bring people together' amid the pandemic. In a brand video to signal the partnership, frontliners are seen connecting through national foods such as Hainanese chicken rice and chilli crab. More detailed experiences and marketing initiatives will be announced soon.
In June, STB commissioned local singer-songwriter Charlie Lim to perform a cover of the '60s classic 'Singapore Town'. The accompanying music video showed locals attempting to re-enact tourist experiences at home.
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