Businesses are no strangers to the need for digital transformation post-COVID, but many are navigating the most meaningful way to embark on it. Tourism-related businesses have been prompted to pivot their business models, create new product offerings and target new customer segments as a means of survival, but there continue to be barriers to adoption for digital transformation.
To help tourism businesses navigate these challenges, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) launched the Tourism Technology Transformation Cube, or Tcube, a hybrid innovation space and one-stop resource to accelerate digital transformation, spur innovative collaborations and peer learnings in the tourism sector. STB debunks three myths that businesses have about digital transformation, and the role that Tcube plays in helping them transform through the three-step Learn-Test-Build framework.
1. Myth: Digital transformation requires a business overhaul
The perception of digital transformation is that a massive digital tech stack overhaul is required to sync up business processes with new technology, forcing businesses to give up potential revenue and incur greater costs.
Myth debunked: This broad-spectrum approach can be streamlined by identifying and tackling specific areas of opportunity in a phased approach.
In Learn, tourism businesses can understand their transformation readiness and learn about innovation best practices. Following that, they can start small by validating ideas on tech solutions through pilots in the Test phase. Finally, tourism businesses can tap on ready built smart services by STB to scale up data analytics and digital adoption.
Under Tcube’s Learn phase, Singapore-based tourism businesses embarking on this journey for the first time can discover their barriers to digital transformation through the Tourism Transformation Index (TXI), a self-diagnostic tool to understand their current state of transformation, how they fare among industry peers and recommendations to thrive post-COVID. TXI, the first tool to be developed specifically for the tourism sector, serves as a starting point by providing a holistic assessment based on six domains, including Transformative Leadership, Customer, Data, Innovation, Processes and Technology.
Thereafter, business leaders can adopt these recommendations, which includes invitations and exclusive access to Tcube events such as community sharing and thought-leadership conferences where they can meet like-minded stakeholders, and gain insights from domain experts and industry peers.
2. Myth: My business does not have the resources for digital transformation, making it risky to pursue
The meaningful use of limited resources remains a persistent issue. Between efforts to keep the business afloat, and the presumed cost of digital transformation, tourism companies are inclined to prioritise survival.
Myth debunked: With Tcube, STB encourages tourism businesses of all sizes to cultivate the spirit of innovation by providing the necessary resources to undergo pilots to reduce risks.
Under the Test phase, businesses can co-create and test new ideas through the Singapore Tourism Accelerator Programme, set up to source for the world’s most innovative technology solutions to power the travel and tourism industry in Singapore. Tourism companies can partner with start-ups to pilot innovative solutions that address business challenges. STB provides financial support to subsidise pilot cost, reducing the risks that innovation bears for tourism businesses.
3. Myth: Digital transformation is too expensive
The price for digital transformation can snowball as businesses are required to purchase new technology such as software for data analytics and digital marketing. With these high costs, tourism businesses end up deterred from starting their transformation.
Myth debunked: Tourism companies can alleviate some of these costs and enjoy cost-savings by leveraging Tcube’s ready built digital solutions, making digital transformation affordable and accessible.
Under the Build phase, businesses can use the Tourism Information and Services Hub (TIH), a one-stop digital resource platform that helps them save time, effort and money by accessing relevant information on Singapore’s tourism offerings and travel software services. With over 3,200 listings and more than 14,000 media assets across multiple categories, tourism companies can achieve greater exposure for their products and amplify their marketing efforts for free. Another digital solution under Tcube is the Singapore Tourism Analytics Network (STAN), a platform for tourism businesses to access tourism data and perform data analytics to help plan for recovery. Data helps businesses better understand key trends, target audiences, which empowers them to create personalised experiences and content.
Looking ahead to transformation
As the world enters another year of the pandemic, partnerships between the public and private sectors will be crucial to ensure the changing needs of the future traveller are met. To date, more than 100 tourism companies have benefitted from Tcube’s initiatives, and we hope to partner with more to transform the tourism sector.
Find out how you can begin your digital transformation journey with Tcube and explore Tcube resources here: http://go.gov.sg/tcube-learn-test-build
For business leaders who are interested to learn about tech trends and innovation best practices, join the Tcube community to stay updated on the upcoming events and resources: https://go.gov.sg/tcubecommunity
This article is brought to you by Singapore Tourism Board