Nine firms picked to boost tourism sector under STB scheme

The first cohort of companies in the Singapore Tourism Board's accelerator programme will propose solutions to enhance the engagement and overall experience of visitors, and boost productivity in the tourism industry.
The first cohort of companies in the Singapore Tourism Board's accelerator programme will propose solutions to enhance the engagement and overall experience of visitors, and boost productivity in the tourism industry.ST FILE PHOTO

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has announced its accelerator programme's first cohort of nine companies, chosen from a pool of more than 160 applicants.

The companies hail from Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, India, Australia, Britain and the Netherlands.

The Singapore Tourism Accelerator, co-run by STB and its appointed partner Found8, is located within STB's Tourism Court premises in the Orchard area.

The companies will spend the next six months testing innovative solutions that could benefit Singapore's tourism sector, said STB.

They will undergo a series of workshops, and networking and sharing sessions, and pair up with industry partners such as Marina Bay Sands, Resorts World Sentosa and Gardens by the Bay to trial their solutions.

In December, they will be further assessed 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 pilots.

PROMISING START

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.

MR POH CHI CHUAN, STB's director for digital transformation, on the next steps in the accelerator programme.

By the end of the programme in March next year, these selected teams will demonstrate their solutions and present the outcomes of their pilots to industry stakeholders and potential investors.

The solutions proposed by the cohort have the potential to improve productivity and visitor engagement, and enhance overall visitor experience, said STB.

Two Singapore firms, Infinito and Good For Food, are part of the first cohort.

Infinito uses artificial intelligence to derive recommended hotel rates by "learning" from a hotel's previous decisions.

It is able to determine which decisions maximised revenue, and then execute and implement pricing decisions and promotions on the hotel's behalf.

It also provides feedback to hotels on how future decision-making could be improved.

Good For Food has invented a smart dustbin that can help establishments such as 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 a reduction in food waste of 30 to 40 per cent, and cost savings of up to 8 per cent, said STB.

STB plans to recruit three more cohorts for its accelerator programme, with the next call for applications opening next month.

Mr Poh Chi Chuan, STB's director for digital transformation, 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."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 17, 2019, with the headline 'Nine firms picked to boost tourism sector under STB scheme'. Print Edition | Subscribe