Travel Agent Industry Forum 2021

The Travel Agent Industry Forum went virtual for the first time in 2021 after taking a pause in 2020. With the theme "Travel Redesigned", the session updated travel agents with the latest developments as well as opportunities as a result of COVID-19. Subject matter experts in the areas of digital marketing, manpower transformation as well as technology start-ups and industry veterans were invited to share useful information and tips to inspire travel agents to transform their business and operations in order to adapt and survive in this fast-evolving tourism landscape.

Opening Speech by Mr Keith Tan - CE, STB


Opening Speech by Mr Steven Ler - President, NATAS


Keynote Address by Ms Cheryl Lim - Partner, McKinsey & Company

Tourism has been one of the most affected sectors during Covid-19 and recovery is expected to take some time. But the adversity has inspired the sector to rethink its offerings – for example, shifts to domestic tourism and non-air travel have picked up some of the slack from limited air travel. As vaccines are distributed globally, will these shifts persist or be scaled back? How have travellers’ expectations changed? And how should the sector think about the travel experience and becoming more resilient?

STB Industry Sharing

STB will be sharing on various industry insights gathered from an analysis of travel agent data, including financials, business profile returns and industry trends, as well as upcoming programmes and initiatives to support the TA industry.


(Breakout Session 1) Media Effectiveness and Efficiency: Adopt An Audience-First Mindset by Mr Oliver Spalding - Chief Strategy Officer, Media & Digital (Singapore), Publicis Groupe

COVID-19 has impacted the tourism industry on multiple levels and with international travel not expected to fully recover in the near term, the ability for travel agents to engage customers may be limited. In this session, we will demonstrate how media strategy can be pivoted to support tourism business during times of change and uncertainty, acknowledging that audiences are less spontaneous and more cautious. We will also share how businesses can drive demand and recovery by focusing on audience targeting during the media planning process. The session will then conclude with insights on the shifts in audience media behaviours, the role of partnerships as well as best practices when running your own campaign.


(Breakout Session 2) Travel Redesigned: Driving Transformation Through Upskilling and Reskilling by Mr Jia Yong Goh - Partner, People Advisory Services, Ernst & Young

With the ever-evolving situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, continued shifts are impacting the way we live and work. With this in mind, business leaders may be wondering how best to prepare your staff for the “new normal” and to support your business needs through effective manpower practices.

Join us in this session to find out how job redesign can help drive higher levels of productivity, as well as accelerate and sustain your digital transformation efforts. This session includes practical steps on conducting job redesign within your organisation, and tips to manage conversations with your staff pertaining to changes within the company.


Panel Discussion: Technology and Innovation for Recovery

This panel will bring together different perspectives on technology trends that have emerged from COVID-19, and the importance of technology and innovation to drive travel recovery. The panel will also discuss opportunities in the tourism sector despite existing challenges.

Mr Jia Yong Goh, Partner, People Advisory Services, Ernst & Young

Ms Grace Sai, Founder and CEO, Ravel Innovation
Mr Ang Eu Khoon, Managing Director, City Tours
Ms Mounika Pothineni, Co-Founder, TravStack