THE Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has announced its accelerator's first cohort of nine companies which were chosen from a pool of more than 160 applicants.
The companies hail from Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, India, Australia, the UK and the Netherlands.
The Singapore Tourism Accelerator, co-run by STB and its appointed partner Found8, is located on STB’s premises at Tourism Court.
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, networking and sharing sessions, and pair up with industry partners such as Marina Bay Sands, Resorts World Sentosa and the Gardens by the Bay to trial their solutions.
In December, they will be subject to further assessment 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 S$25,000 each for their pilot. By the end of the programme in March 2020, 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 potential to improve productivity, visitor engagement, and enhance the 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 to 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 30-40 per cent reduction in food waste, 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 in November 2019.
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."