Singapore Tourism Board (STB) on Wednesday has launched cooperation with leading Chinese digital and mobile services including Alitrip, Tuniu and Baidu, to offer Chinese visitors a comprehensive suite of travel services.
STB entered four Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) for the first time with online travel services Alitrip and Tuniu, social review sites Dianping and Mafengwo, to curate and distribute content on Singapore's destination offerings over a period of two to three years, STB said in a press conference here.
In addition, STB also launched a new YourSingapore WeChat Service account and Baidu Connect service that will provide consumers with real-time location-based services via their mobile to explore Singapore with ease.
The integrated suite of digital and mobile services allows STB to extend its digital presence in the important key-source market of China, which has seen a surge in the number of Free and Independent Travellers (FIT) and the proliferation of mobile usage to search for travel information, STB said.
According to the latest data, the number of China visitor arrivals for January to August this year has increased by 19 percent year-on-year. And last year, a total 1.7 million Chinese tourists have visited Singapore, making China the second largest contributor to international visitor arrivals. Chinese tourists have also spent a lot, contributing 2.6 billion Singapore dollars (1.87 billion U.S. dollars) in 2014.
"We are seeing more Chinese FIT or free-and-easy visitors in Singapore in recent years. Besides the need for comprehensive information for trip planning, they also desire real-time useful tips, navigation, payment and translation tools to explore a destination independently," said Edward Chew, STB's Regional Director for Greater China.
Singapore's key tourism industry players also expect these digital partnerships to enable them better engage in the Chinese market. For example, attractions such as River Safari and Gardens by the Bay will be featured in the new YourSingapore WeChat account, while the offerings of Sentosa-HarbourFront precinct will be detailed in the new Baidu Connect service.
"We are very excited to be part of STB's continued expansion into the Chinese digital marketing landscape. The Chinese visitors will be able to discover the many hidden gems of the Sentosa-HarbourFront precinct easily through the YourSingapore Baidu Connect service."
"This platform will open doors of opportunities for the businesses and attractions of the precinct to connect with the Chinese visitors and deliver in-depth experiences and storytelling services to them," said Khoo Shao Tze, Chairman of Sentosa-HarbourFront Business Association.