Travel industry leaders in Singapore have devised a new initiative aimed at enhancing the services offered by the country’s travel agencies.
Jointly produced by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and National Association of Travel Agents Singapore (NATAS), the new ‘Travel Agent Roadmap’ has been designed to make travel agents more relevant, by encouraging them to go “beyond ticketing and order-taking” and to become “designers of travel experiences”.
The roadmap was launched this week at Singapore’s inaugural Travel Agents Industry Forum.
“Travel agents are important players in the travel and tourism ecosystem. They contribute to the vibrancy of our economy and provide good jobs for Singaporeans. However, with more consumers becoming discerning and going online for their travel needs, travel agents must rethink their businesses in order to value-add and remain relevant, competitive and productive in a dynamic travel landscape,” said Lionel Yeo, chief executive of the STB.
As part of the roadmap, NATAS will create a new Business Transformation Committee to help travel agents transform their operations. The association is also developing a “step-by-step playbook” advising travel agents on how they can move into new business models.
In terms of new technology, STB and NATAS plan to organise regular technology showcases and produce a guidebook on the latest agency solutions. STB added that it will also support travel agents by providing grants for them to adopt new technology, through such schemes as the Business Improvement Fund (BIF) and Experience Step-Up Fund (ESF).
And finally on the issue of manpower, the roadmap will feature a “suite of resources” that travel agents can use to improve their HR capabilities, including training and mentorship programmes and seminars.
“We believe the Travel Agent Roadmap can create unprecedented opportunities to bring about business transformation for the travel agent industry, thereby ensuring viability and sustainable growth in the years to come,” said Devinder Ohri, president of NATAS.