Singapore, 17 September 2020 – 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. An in-depth study to identify changing behaviours, new trends and growth opportunities will sharpen Singapore’s competitive edge as a global business destination. Insights from the study will also guide future campaigns to capture inbound business tourism spend and help local SMEs recover.
Joint marketing partnerships
In the first phase of their marketing partnership, STB and Visa will develop a domestic marketing campaign to raise awareness of local SMEs, while driving domestic consumption through Visa cardholder promotions. In the second phase when international travel resumes, both organisations will launch international marketing campaigns to increase awareness of local brands and experiences in Singapore.
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. WhereYouShopMatters was introduced in August by Visa to encourage consumers to support local SMEs, while helping SMEs digitalise to adapt, sustain and thrive in a COVID-19 environment.
In the coming months, STB and Visa will introduce joint promotions and offers to encourage locals to rediscover Singapore and support local SMEs. The campaigns will be centred on three key themes: Escape, Feast and Shop, to boost spending at hotels, attractions, food and beverage outlets, and other local retailers. STB and Visa will also profile homegrown brands and business owners through inspiring content that highlights their aspirations, passions and adaptability. This includes showcasing how SMEs can adopt e-commerce and technology such as contactless payments to better engage consumers and meet their evolving needs.
For the second phase which focuses on international marketing, experiences in Singapore such as shopping, dining, sight-seeing, events and entertainment will be promoted through content creation, promotions and tourist privileges. These campaigns will be rolled out in phases in key countries based on the respective market’s readiness to travel. STB and Visa will also testbed initiatives to drive incremental spending through cross border e-commerce and harness new opportunities for local tourism and lifestyle SMEs.
“Local tourism and lifestyle businesses contribute significantly to the vibrancy of a city like Singapore. STB and Visa both want to help such businesses to survive and succeed in the new environment. We recognise that many of them, especially the smaller and medium-sized ones, are especially vulnerable. 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.
“COVID-19 has greatly disrupted the way we live, shop and pay, and businesses need to keep pace with changing consumer behaviour and spending patterns,” Visa Country Manager for Singapore and Brunei, Kunal Chatterjee, said. “Our partnership with the Singapore Tourism Board 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. In addition, we will work with STB to revive inbound
tourism when borders reopen, and more travellers start entering Singapore for business and leisure. Together, we aim to drive more support towards local businesses through our WhereYouShopMatters initiative and provide them with the tools they need to transition online and thrive.”
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About Visa Inc.
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of digital commerce on any device for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit About Visa, visa.com/blog and @VisaNews.
About the Singapore Tourism Board
The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is the lead development agency for tourism, one of Singapore’s key economic sectors. Together with industry partners and the community, we shape a dynamic Singapore tourism landscape. We bring the Passion Made Possible brand to life by differentiating Singapore as a vibrant destination that inspires people to share and deepen their passions.
 Includes the analysis and insights based on a variety of sources contributed by Analytics & Insights department from STB and Visa Consulting and Analytics (VCA), the payments consulting advisory arm of Visa
 Tourism precincts include Bugis (Bugis, Tan Queen Lan, Rochor, Queen Street), Marina Bay (Marina Bay, Raffles Ave, Temasek Boulevard), Orchard Road (Orchard Road, River Valley, Mohamad Sultan, Cairnhill)