Visa and STB ink three-year deal to boost local tourism and lifestyle SMEs

TD Editor

Visa, the world’s leader in digital payments, has signed a three-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) to address the needs of Singapore’s tourism and lifestyle small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) impacted by COVID-19.

The STB-Visa collaboration focuses on two strategic areas to revive the local tourism industry – joint research and analytics and marketing partnerships. As international travel gradually resumes, both organisations will scale up their partnership to include joint international marketing, powered by data and insights derived from their combined research. The aim is to develop marketing strategies and initiatives to help Singapore businesses capture demand once global travel resumes.

Joint research and analytics 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 help identify new trends and untapped opportunities, which will be shared with local SMEs to develop their own data-driven campaigns and initiatives that are in tune with the new environment.

To kickstart the data and research collaboration, STB and Visa have produced a report to provide insights for local SMEs. Called Impact of COVID-19 on Tourism in Singapore and the Road to Recovery and Transformation, the report found that local brands are worst hit by the pandemic, experiencing double-digit negative growth. The lack of an online presence has also left local brands more vulnerable to the adverse economic impact of the pandemic, especially those located in tourism precincts.

In the next phase of their data and research collaboration, STB and Visa will focus on the impact of COVID-19 on business travel. Singapore is one of the world’s leading business travel destinations, and business visitors represent the country’s highest yielding segment.

To launch the first phase in October 2020, both organisations will harness the synergies of their respective campaigns – #SingapoRediscovers and #WhereYouShopMatters – to encourage Singaporeans to shop at local retailers and support the domestic economy. SingapoRediscovers, a joint campaign launched in July by STB, Enterprise Singapore and Sentosa Development Corporation, supports local lifestyle and tourism business by encouraging locals to uncover hidden gems, stories and experiences in Singapore.

“Local tourism and lifestyle businesses contribute significantly to the vibrancy of a city like Singapore. We hope to help them develop new digital capabilities and transform their businesses. Through our partnership with Visa, we also aim to give local businesses a much- needed boost through domestic spending,” said STB chief executive Keith Tan.

Visa’s country manager for Singapore and Brunei, Kunal Chatterjee, said: “Our partnership with the STB has enabled us to derive analysis and insights on how local businesses can recover in Singapore, and what we can do to support their recovery.”

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