太长不看 | TLDR
"We look forward to meeting you in Singapore, where passion is made possible."
Vol.2 Issue 3
May 19, 2020
聊点什么 | Subject of the Day
With the spread of COVID-19, many countries, including China, have taken restrictions on travel and entry & exit. In consequence, the international tourism activities have been suspended, and travel confidence is severely held back. In the time of difficulty, instead of waiting around, the tourism boards have been creative so as to keep on doing a good job in destinations marketing and promotion. At this critical moment, we reached out to “chitchat” with the heads of DMOs and some overseas tourist offices, hoping that their practice and thoughts may be of reference for our global industry to resume work and operation.
来者何人 | Meet our Ace
Executive Director, Greater China | Singapore Tourism Board
她怎么说 | What the Ace says...
WTA: Is there any adjustment made to the marketing/promotional plan of the year due to the COVID-19 situation? Is there any new plan/initiative created specifically for the situation?
Juliana: As the saying goes, "plans always lag behind changes". The sudden outbreak of the COVID-19 did prompt corresponding adjustments to the promotion plan of our destination so as to cope with the impacts. In general, the updated promotion plan falls into the following three stages.
To tailor communication strategy in line with the progress of recovery in each individual overseas market. The conditions of recovery vary among different markets. We will adjust our promotion strategies according to the actual demand in the markets. Now that the situations in China have gradually returned to normal, we feel confident about the resilience of the China market, both online and offline.
加强中新业者的合作交流，共克时艰。疫情虽让旅游业经历寒冬，但有“危”就有“机”。一方面，我们积极在线上开展学习课程和搭建直播渠道，帮助暂时无法复工的中国旅业伙伴实时掌握最新的新加坡旅游信息，帮助双方更深入地了解彼此需求。另一方面，我们也全面助力新加坡相关企业，共同应对疫情冲击。其中，新加坡政府已成立旅业复苏特别行动组(Tourism Recovery Action Task Force)，重点帮助本土旅业单位和从业人员渡过难关。而在中国，我们更是通过诸如大众点评上的“食遇狮城”传播项目，协助新加坡企业的在华发展，软性提升新加坡作为旅游目的地的吸引力。
To promote cooperation and exchanges between businesses in China and Singapore to overcome the difficulties. Although the epidemic has dampened the momentum of our industry, we could still learn to turn round the crisis to find alternative opportunities. On the one hand, we actively carried out training courses online and set up live channels to help our partners in China who are temporarily unable to return to work master the latest information about Singapore tourism in real time, making sure both sides better understand each other's demand. On the other hand, we have stood by relevant enterprises in Singapore to confront the negative impacts of the epidemic. As an example, the Singapore government has set up a Tourism Recovery Action Task Force to help local tourism businesses and their employees overcome difficulties. Through a campaign named the "Gourmet Tour in the Lion City” on Dianping.com, we assisted Singapore enterprises with their business development in China and enhanced the appeal of Singapore as a tourist destination.
To strengthen direct interaction with consumers. Although the epidemic temporarily held back travel activities, it provided us with an opportunity to carry out online communication more closely with our consumers. Different from our previous promotion practices through our own platforms that were more focused on the sharing of information, we now put more thoughts on developing a series of creative interactive activities, such as the "Make A Picture of the Merlion's Stacation" and the "Finger Heart with Singapore photo solicitation". In addition, we are actively involved in special events organized by media or tourism partners to consolidate our emotional ties with our consumers.
WTA: Has your office/destination carried out any campaign/initiative during the COVID-19 situation? How do you see the effect?
Juliana: On the one hand, we gave full consideration to the demand of our tourism partners in China who could not return to work due to the situation. As early as in February, we launched the Singapore Travel Specialist training program to introduce the latest tourism information to the tourism partners in the form of live stream. At the same time, we invited a number of businesses in Singapore, such as the Changi Airport and Resorts World Sentosa, to join us for interactive sessions through new media channels to address hot topics in recent months, show the commitments of tourism businesses in Singapore to joining hands with our Chinese partners, and set up opportunities for timely communication on both sides.
On the other hand, we are actively involved in a series of dissemination activities to support the anti-epidemic actions. These include the "2020 China Power" campaign led by People's Culture and Tourism, Elle China's #2020Ibelieve and Ctrip.com's "Three-line Love Letter" campaign. We hope that through such material and moral supports we may contribute to the resumption of tourism and together we will overcome the difficulties.
WTA: When the situation stabilizes, will your office/destination take any preferential measures that stimulate overseas visits and/or benefit the businesses in the source market?
Juliana: We expect tourism demand to rebound after the epidemic. Although it will take some time to recover in an all-round way, we firmly believe that the dawn of victory is ahead of us, just as what happened in our past experience in dealing with the negative effects of SARS. In order to better support Singapore's domestic and international industry partners and consumers, and make every effort to promote the recovery of Singapore's tourism industry, we plan to take corresponding measures as follows:
针对境外业者和受众 | For overseas businesses and the public
为了进一步丰富新加坡故事，尤其是在线上的创意展示以及可持续的推广使用，我们于近期特别推出了”新加坡故事*内容基金”(SG Stories Content Fund)，以便更好地吸引新加坡本地和全球的创意人士产出优秀的宣传资源，提升新加坡旅游目的地的良好形象。
In order to further enrich the Singapore stories to be used for online displays and tourism promotions, we recently launched the SG Stories Content Fund to encourage local and global talents in creating excellent publicity materials that will contribute to the positive image of Singapore as a tourist destination.
近期，新加坡旅游局还启动了一项2,000万新币的营销合作计划(Marketing Partnership Programme)。通过该计划，新加坡旅游局将与包括酒店、景点、境外旅行社等在内的旅游业者展开合作，支持他们为游客创造更具价值的别样体验。
Recently, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has launched a SGD $20 million Marketing Partnership Program. Through which, STB will cooperate with the tourism industry consisting of hotels, scenic spots, overseas travel agencies, etc., support them in creating unique and memorable experiences for tourists.
We will also re-examine STB's long-term tourism strategic plan to ensure that it will maintain its far-reaching significance in the new normal after the epidemic. Relevant measures include the revitalization of the Orchard Road, the building of the Mandai Ecological Zone, and the re-planning and development of Sentosa.
针对新加坡境内的业者和受众 | For domestic businesses and the public in Singapore：
围绕消费者最关注的健康和卫生问题，新加坡率先推出“新加坡保洁运动”(SG Clean)，设定了“SG Clean”质量标准，旨在确保和提升新加坡在公共卫生健康和安全的高标准，鼓励个人和企业在生活及商业运作中维持干净卫生的习惯。“SG Clean”质量标准涵盖了包括小贩中心、幼儿园、酒店、旅游景点及各个交通枢纽在内的高人流地点。业者要达到标准，须遵循针对个别行业而设的清洁事项清单，并定期接受清洁与卫生水平检查。“新加坡保洁运动”的推行并不仅针对疫情时期的特殊需求，而更将会成为新加坡对个人及相关企业清洁工作的长期要求。
Focusing on the health and hygiene issues most concerned by the consumers, Singapore took the lead in launching the "SG Clean" campaign to set the "SG Clean" quality standards, aiming to ensure and improve the high standards of public health and safety in Singapore, and encourage individuals and enterprises to maintain clean and sanitary habits in life and business operation. The "SG Clean" quality standards apply to crowded places such as the hawkers’ centers, kindergartens, hotels, tourist attractions and various transportation hubs. In order to meet the standards, a business owner must follow a to-do list set up for individual industries, and regularly receive evaluations on cleanliness and sanitation. The "SG Clean" isn't intended to be an interim measure during the epidemic. It will become a long-term requirement of cleanliness for individuals and businesses to meet in Singapore.
WTA: Why is it important to continue doing a good job in destination marketing and promotion during the COVID-19 situation when tourism has virtually stopped?
Juliana: Travel itself is an experience full of pleasure and hope. Although the COVID-19 situation has pressed the pause button for the global industry, the online activities of “cloud travel” has never stopped. In this sense, keeping on doing a good job in destination promotion gives a fillip to the consumer market. Through images, videos, live streams and other means, we could boost everyone's confidence in resuming a good life.
On the other hand, uninterrupted destination promotion will help us maintain a top-of-mind positon in the market and good interaction with consumers. Furthermore, this special period also gives us an opportunity to show a different aspact of our destination that most people have never seen. For example, two interesting video clips namely #With no other tourists, curious babies took their spring tours in Singapore Zoo# and #The centenary war between two otter families in Singapore# recently went viral among netizens, bringing amusement to the audience while revealing more dimensions of the Lion City.
WTA: In ONE sentence, what is the most important message you’d like to share with the WTA members and the readers of our column?
柯：期待与各位在新加坡相遇，发现你的心想狮城Juliana: We look forward to meeting you in Singapore, where passion is made possible.