Companies will work on solutions in the new accelerator space to help businesses improve productivity, formulate stronger visitor engagement strategies, and enhance the visitor experience.
The launch of the pioneer cohort from the Singapore Tourism Accelerator, which was announced today at ITB Asia 2019, will see nine companies spend the next six months refining and test-bedding innovative solutions that could benefit Singapore’s tourism sector. The Accelerator is co-run by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and its appointed partner Found8, and is located on STB’s premises at Tourism Court.
The nine companies come from around the world – Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, India, Australia, UK, and the Netherlands – and were chosen from a pool of more than 160 applicants. They have proposed a wide range of solutions that show potential to improve productivity, formulate stronger strategies to engage visitors, and enhance the overall visitor experience.
Mr Poh Chi Chuan, Director, Digital Transformation, Singapore Tourism Board, said: “We are encouraged by the quality of ideas presented in the first round of recruitment, and will work closely with industry partners to test the solutions in a real-world setting, with tangible outcomes. Through the Singapore Tourism Accelerator, we aim to grow and adapt these solutions to address the specific needs of Singapore’s tourism sector, and help our stakeholders stay ahead of the competition.”
One Singaporean company hoping to bring its solution to market is Infinito. Using artificial intelligence, Infinito is able to derive recommended hotel rates by “learning” from a hotel’s previous decisions. In doing so, it is able to determine which decisions maximised revenue, and then execute and implement pricing decisions and promotions on that hotel’s behalf. It also provides feedback to hotels on how future decision-making could be improved.
Another local company Good for Food has invented a smart dustbin to help establishments like hotels to reduce food waste. Using sensors and image recognition technology, these dustbins can track and identify food waste from buffet lines and restaurant kitchens, so that inventory can be managed more efficiently. This could translate to 30 to 40 per cent of reduction in food waste, and cost savings of up to 8 per cent.
Other solutions aim to help tourism players enhance the visitor experience. Plattar, an Australia-based online platform, provides simple templates and tools to create and deploy Augmented Reality (AR) content. Attraction owners and other tourism businesses can use this to build their own AR experiences without having to engage a developer, and create immersive experiences for consumers via their digital devices.
The nine companies will undergo a series of workshops, networking and sharing sessions, as well as pair up with industry partners such as Marina Bay Sands, Resorts World Sentosa and the Gardens by the Bay to testbed their solutions.
In December 2019, they will be subject to further assessment by STB, Found8 and industry partners to determine if they are ready to move on to the next phase, where they will pilot their solutions. Those selected will receive funding support of up to $25,000 each for their pilot. By the end of the programme in March 2020, these selected teams will demonstrate their solutions and present the outcomes of their pilots to industry stakeholders and potential investors.
Ms Grace Sai, Co-Founder and Head of Corporate Innovation at Found8, said: “The collaboration between start-ups and industry players to pilot these solutions could lead to some real breakthroughs. With the involvement of Singapore’s tourism and hospitality heavy-hitters, as well as the commitment from the nine selected companies, we are confident that the Accelerator will increase the chance of success in these pilots.”
STB plans to recruit three more cohorts for the Accelerator programme, with the next call for applications opening in November 2019.
For more details, visit http://SGtourismaccelerator.com.