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Alibaba Cloud, SACEOS ink MOU to team up in AI, big data, cloud tech

ALIBABA Cloud, the data intelligence arm of Alibaba Group, and the Singapore Association of Convention & Exhibition Organisers & Suppliers (SACEOS) have inked an agreement that will see both parties work together to offer training and collaboration in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI), big data and cloud technologies. 

SACEOS is Singapore's trade association for the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) industry. 

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which was signed on Thursday at the Singapore MICE Forum 2019, comes as Singapore seeks to maintain its edge as the top Asian destination amid an increasingly competitive MICE and hospitality landscape, Alibaba Cloud said in a press statement. 

According to statistics from the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), MICE visitors made up 15 per cent of arrivals in Singapore, and 22 per cent of spending in the first half of 2018, with MICE visitors rising by 14 per cent, and tourism receipts from MICE growing by 10 per cent last year, as compared to the same period in 2017. 

Singapore was also ranked the top Asian city for meetings by the International Congress and Convention Association for 16 consecutive years, and named the top Asia-Pacific destination for the third straight year in Cvent's rankings of top meeting destinations in Asia-Pacific for 2018, data from STB shows.

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As part of the collaboration, SACEOS and its members will examine the use of Alibaba Cloud data intelligence solutions. SACEOS and Alibaba Cloud will also explore hosting training and workshops to equip SACEOS members with the technology competencies to transform their businesses, Alibaba Cloud said. 

The firm also claimed that it will connect Singapore hospitality industries with the Alibaba ecosystem, along with millions of potential Chinese customers to drive arrivals and spending. 

Said Aloysius Arlando, president of SACEOS and chief executive officer of SingEx Holdings: "Singapore's continued success as a business events and meetings destination is not just a product of the world-class infrastructure, connectivity and attractions. Our industry is relentless in our collaborations to provide world-class and differentiated business events to make Singapore the Global Asia Node in the region. We are confident that this partnership will create even more opportunities for Singapore to stay ahead of the competition through adoption of leading technologies."

Added Derek Wang, general manager of Alibaba Cloud Singapore: "As the global leader in data intelligence, we understand the opportunities technologies can create for the MICE industry. Our partnership with SACEOS is an extension of our partnership with hospitality and tourism sectors of Singapore as a whole. We will work closely with SACEOS and its members to demonstrate real-world examples on how technology innovations can not only improve the industry's digital transformation, but also bottom lines as well." 

As part of the agreement, Alibaba Cloud will also share its technology know-how in data intelligence to deliver high-traffic events, it noted. 

Some examples include AI technologies like Natural Language Processing solutions from machine translation, speech-to-text or text-to-speech that can overcome communication barriers, as well as big data solutions where the MICE industry may tap Alibaba Cloud's data analytics ability to transform data into actionable insights and create innovations for the industry.

In addition, cloud technology such as live video broadcasting enables high concurrent broadcasting of events to millions of viewers around the world, where Alibaba Cloud's video AI solution can automatically identify the best moments during a broadcast to produce instant replays and highlights, the company said. 

"With Alibaba Cloud's Mini Program Cloud, Singapore hospitality industries like event organisers, hotels and resorts, restaurants and retail companies can easily build and launch mini programs into the Alibaba ecosystem, connecting with millions of Chinese visitors to Singapore."

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