STB, Agoda in marketing tie-up to woo more South-east Asian visitors to Singapore

The agreement is the first direct partnership between STB and Agoda to capture travel demand as Covid-19 border restrictions begin to lift in the region. ST PHOTO: THADDEUS ANG

SINGAPORE - Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has teamed up with digital travel platform Agoda on a joint marketing campaign to attract more visitors from South-east Asia to Singapore.

The partnership taps Agoda's technology and travel expertise, data insights and marketing capabilities to reach out to potential travellers nearby.

STB executive director John Gregory Conceicao said in a statement that South-east Asia was an important market that can play a key role in tourism recovery.

Signed on Thursday (March 3), the agreement is the first direct partnership between STB and Agoda to capture travel demand, which comes as Covid-19 border restrictions begin to lift in the region.

Border measures between Singapore and several South-east Asian destinations such as Kuala Lumpur, Vietnam and Thailand were eased over the past few months. 

Agoda director Enric Casals said: "Singapore is a bustling city centre at the heart of Asia, with so much to offer its visitors from the region.

"With this partnership, we are glad to lend our insights and innovative marketing to help STB optimise footfall to our home base."

The campaign's launch date and further details were not provided in the statement.

Agoda was founded in Singapore in 2005 and links travellers to a global network of over 2.5 million properties, such as hotels and homes, in more than 200 countries worldwide, it said in a statement.

Industry players said that because of the close proximity of countries in South-east Asia to Singapore, visitors from the region usually form a significant proportion of tourists here.

Tourism expert Christopher Khoo, the managing director of international tourism consultancy MasterConsult Services, estimated South-east Asian visitors made up about one-third of inbound visitors before Covid-19. 

The partnership with an e-commerce firm like Agoda can go a long way to attract more visitors to Singapore as data collection and targeted advertising can reach the right audience, said Mr Khoo, 63. 

He told The Straits Times: “The industry has been battered by Covid-19 for sure, but this partnership can help to put Singapore on the forefront as the travel picks up again.”

A Dynasty Travel spokesman said that tourism recovery in Asia has been lagging behind western countries, and that this has been especially challenging for Singapore as it does not have a large domestic travel industry. 

But Dynasty will soon unveil new travel deals to draw in regional visitors, he added. 

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