STB Appoints VMLY&R to Help in Tourism Transformation

Singapore Tourism Board has appointed VMLY&R to assist in accelerating the transformation of Singapore’s tourism sector, with a roadmap to guide the industry on best practices in customer experience and adoption of digital products.

The win comes following a pitch and the agency will now support the development and execution of digital transformation strategy roadmaps with key tourism enterprises as part of ThreeHouse, a new co-innovation space where tourism businesses can collaborate, workshop and test new ideas and solutions, with guidance from STB and other industry experts.

Slated to open in 2021, STB’s ThreeHouse houses a suite of tools and initiatives to support the enterprises in their transformation journeys. These include STB Tech College, sessions aimed at equipping the industry with the knowledge and competencies and to harness technology, innovation and data, along with design thinking workshops, community networking sessions, technology showcases, consultations and more. There will also be programmes to help industry members tackle their own critical business questions and develop selected ideas for testing with customers.

VMLY&R began its work to support ThreeHouse’s transformation initiative in August, bringing in their own experts specialising in technology and innovation to assist the first batch of strategic enterprises, known as ‘lighthouse accounts.’ Each engagement starts off with a Tourism Transformation Index (TXI) assessment, a diagnostic tool developed by STB which provides a  holistic view of the enterprise's digital capabilities and efforts. VMLY&R and STB then work with the stakeholders to develop a digital transformation strategy and roadmap.     

Ong Huey Hong, executive director, Industry Technology Transformation, Singapore Tourism Board, said: “Our partnership with VMLY&R will further our digital transformation efforts to help businesses learn more about themselves and be aware of the new shifts, enable them to dream big and take small steps to test their ideas and create new value for the customers. We look forward to welcoming tourism businesses at ThreeHouse to co-innovate and transform their businesses so they can emerge stronger from the current crisis.”

Preethi Sanjeevi, managing director, VMLY&R Singapore, said: “STB is dedicated to empowering the travel and tourism industry to dream, experiment, and test new digital solutions together with innovators via ThreeHouse. We are honoured to have been selected to support this initiative and the first set of enterprises in their digital transformation journeys, which will serve in mapping out what’s next for the industry as we look towards the new paradigm.”

Meanwhile, STB has also been ramping up it efforts to accelerate the tourism industry in Singapore. After tying up with various brands such as Klook, Expedia, Mastercard, and DBS, it will now be "investing heavily" in augmented reality (AR) in the coming months, as part of its AR strategy. Its first objective is to enhance its "Tourism Information and Services Hub" to be AR-compatible. By 2021, Poh said STB will be able to host and distribute high quality AR content that the industry can tap on freely.  This comes as the board recognises that one of the key hurdles in the proliferation of AR by businesses today is that the digital content is costly to develop and to maintain. Thus this first step is to help stakeholders go over this speed bump.