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STB partners Alibaba, Indonesia tech unicorn Traveloka to woo China, Asean visitors

EFFORTS to woo South-east Asian and China visitors to Singapore get a boost with two agreements signed on Tuesday, on the sidelines of the Tourism Industry Conference 2019.

The first is a three-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) inked by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Alibaba Group to drive visitor arrivals and spending by Chinese visitors.

This will involve co-developing joint marketing campaigns and content, collaborating on inbound Chinese traveller analytics, and creating more tourism experiences in Singapore.

This MOU looks to expand STB’s collaborations with other businesses in the Alibaba ecosystem - such as Fliggy, Youku, Damai and Alibaba Cloud - to engage Chinese visitors and gain deeper insights into their travelling behaviour.

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The partnership builds on the success of an MOU that was signed in September 2017 between STB and Alipay, an online and mobile payment platform operated by Ant Financial, an Alibaba-linked company.

Keith Tan, STB’s chief executive, describes the partnership as a “game changer for Singapore”.

“With a single partner like Alibaba, we will for the first time be able to engage with visitors at every step of the consumer journey, from pre-arrival to post-visit, through Alibaba’s platforms and technologies,” he said.

The second agreement that was announced on Tuesday at the conference is a memorandum of cooperation (MOC) signed by STB and Indonesian tech unicorn Traveloka to promote Singapore as a preferred destination for visitors from five major South-east Asian markets: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

Both organisations will work together to make Singapore activities and experiences available for online booking via Traveloka’s regional platforms, which is expected to increase such product offerings by 15 per cent. 

Tourists from these five major markets made up a third of total visitor arrivals in 2018, contributing over S$4.17 billion in tourism receipts.