With social distancing rules likely to remain even after lockdown restrictions are lifted, technology-driven hospitality automation to minimise contact will be crucial to the hospitality industry’s recovery plans — and Singapore is gearing up to be a “trailblazer” in this next lap.
“It’s critical that our tourism sector uses this down time to build digital capabilities, and test and scale new tourism offerings fast [in order] to survive, even thrive in this new normal,” said Wong Ming Fai, chief technology officer & QSM, technology transformation group at Singapore Tourism Board (STB).
Wong was speaking at SHATEC's APacCHRIE 2021 conference on ‘Redesigning Experiences in Tourism in the New Normal’, where digitalisation was a key focal point of discussion.
With safety, flexible travel and money-wielding baby boomers identified as post-Covid trends that will continue to accelerate, tech adoption becomes even more crucial for the tourism sector as travel gradually reopens.
To that end, Wong referenced Tcube — representing the pillars of tourism, technology and transformation — an initiative first introduced by Singapore minister for trade and industry Chan Chun Sing during April’s Tourism Industry Conference when he described the platform as the “go-to resource for tourism businesses when they embark on digital transformation".
STB envisions the Tcube as a one-stop "resource powerhouse to equip tourism businesses".
As a long-standing advocate of digitalisation in travel, Wong said Tcube is STB's one-stop "resource powerhouse to equip tourism businesses" through a simple Learn-Test-Build model.
Initiatives under Tcube will enable tourism businesses to (i) meet like-minded tourism stakeholders to facilitate knowledge exchange; (ii) test innovative ideas through proofs-of-concept and pilots; and (iii) equip themselves with the tools to build and scale sustainable business models.
This means STB's existing roster of ready-to-use industry tools for agents such as Tourism Information and Services Hub (TIH) to support marketing, including access to 3D assets; the Tourism Transformation Index (TXI) which calculates a business' state of transformation; as well as data analytics platform 'Stan' can all be found on TCube.
But support doesn't just stop on the virtual front.
Once social restrictions allow, STB's office at Tanglin will reopen its dedicated physical space acting as a "living lab to power the future of travel," said Wong.
This will enable a community of innovators and tourism players to partake in cross-industry sharing, engage in fireside chats and a calendar of other live events.
Agents and tourism partners can fill in the Tcube interest form, here.