The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Visa have signed a three-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) to support Singapore’s tourism and lifestyle industry, as well as support the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) impacted by Covid-19.

The collaboration will focus on two key areas to revive the local tourism industry, namely joint research and analytics, as well as marketing partnerships on the back of a gradual resumption in international travel.

On the first initiative, both companies will combine proprietary data as well as research and analytical capabilities to determine how Covid-19 has changed domestic and international consumer behaviour. The insights will help identify new trends and untapped opportunities, which will be shared with SMEs to develop their own campaigns.

To kickstart the data and research collaboration, STB and Visa have already come up with a report that found that local brands bore the hardest brunt of the pandemic, experiencing double-digit declines.

The lack of an online presence has also left local brands more vulnerable to the adverse economic impact of the pandemic, especially those located in tourism precincts.

In the next phase of their collaboration, STB and Visa will focus on the impact of Covid-19 on business travel.

In the first phase for STB and Visa’s joint marketing partnership, the companies will use their respective campaigns, SingapoRediscovers and WhereYouShopMatters to encourage Singaporeans to shop at local retailers and support the domestic economy.

The first phase will be launched in October.

The second phase will focus on international marketing, which will promote shopping, dining, sight-seeing, events and entertainment in Singapore.

“Local tourism and lifestyle businesses contribute significantly to the vibrancy of a city like Singapore. STB and Visa both want to help such businesses to survive and succeed in the new environment. We recognise that many of them, especially the smaller and medium-sized ones, are especially vulnerable,” says STB’s CEO Keith Tan.

“We hope to help them develop new digital capabilities and transform their businesses. Through our partnership with Visa, we also aim to give local businesses a much-needed boost through domestic spending,” Tan adds.

“Covid-19 has greatly disrupted the way we live, shop and pay, and businesses need to keep pace with changing consumer behaviour and spending patterns,” says Visa Country Manager for Singapore and Brunei, Kunal Chatterjee.

“Our partnership with the Singapore Tourism Board has enabled us to derive analysis and insights on how local businesses can recover in Singapore, and what we can do to support their recovery. In addition, we will work with STB to revive inbound tourism when borders reopen, and more travellers start entering Singapore for business and leisure,” Chatterjee adds.