Published on : Thursday, December 7, 2017
The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) announced a raft of new partnerships to build on the strong momentum of the Hotel Industry Transformation Map (ITM) launched last year. These new initiatives in the coming year are part of STB’s ongoing efforts with industry partners to transform Singapore’s hotel industry for sustainable growth.
Hotel Industry Transformation Map gained strong momentum in first year
First unveiled in November 2016, the Hotel ITM’s four key strategies include: Building manpower-lean business models; innovating through development of new solutions; growing businesses through internationalisation and building a strong pipeline of quality talent.
The Hotel ITM has made significant progress on several fronts. One key initiative completed this year was the launch of the Hotel Innovation Challenge, organised by STB and Singapore Hotel Association (SHA) in May. The Hotel Innovation Challenge sought to crowd-source innovative solutions to address key pain points and opportunities in the industry to raise productivity and enhance customer experience. To date, the Challenge has yielded more than 15 awarded solutions, with more than 30 participating hotels agreeing to pilot these solutions with solution vendors in technology areas such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, robotics and facial recognition.
To tackle the industry’s manpower challenge, STB also rolled out a 3-year Hotel Careers Campaign in July this year to drive awareness of the range of jobs and careers progression opportunities in the hotel industry. The campaign, themed “The Business of Happiness”, was executed in partnership with SHA and the Food Drinks & Allied Workers Union. One key highlight, the inaugural Open Hotel Weekends, an open house event held across 22 hotels over two weekends in October, pulled in more than 850 participants.
New Initiatives to prepare industry to be future-ready
In a continued effort to create higher-value jobs across the industry to attract more Singaporeans to the growing hotel industry, STB and SHA will embark on the Experience & Job Redesign (Ex-Job) initiative in 2018. Participating hotels will follow a structured approach in redefining the hotel guest experience, then redesign existing jobs in the front of house positions to provide new and higher value-adding jobs that appeal to the future workforce.
With the rise of digital trends, STB and the Hotel Innovation Committee, led by SHA, will chart a roadmap for the hotel industry to transform into “Smart Hotels” through the Smart Hotel Technology Roadmap. The roadmap will identify the next-generation system capabilities such as facial recognition at check-in and payment wallets that typically define a digitally-driven smart hotel. The roadmap serves as a common framework for the hotel owners and operators which plan to embark on their hotel technology transformation journey.
The Smart Hotel Core Technology listing, which is a key component of the roadmap, will bring together a listing of solution providers to support hotels in their transformation efforts.
Turning the vision of future-ready hotels into reality
To go beyond support for individual initiatives, STB will now work with hotels to develop a more comprehensive suite of measures for their journey of business transformation, with a focus on driving innovation, increasing productivity, and developing talent.
Home-grown hotel and serviced residences operator Far East Hospitality Management is the first to partner with STB in this manner, with a four-year commitment to implement an integrated programme across the entire hotel group, including three new properties slated to open in Sentosa in 2019. Some of the ideas being explored include use of smart technology and artificial intelligence in hotel operations, e-housekeeping solutions, self check-in processes, and an in-house talent grooming programme.
“The Hotel ITM has made steady progress in the span of a year, thanks to active participation from our industry and union partners. We strongly encourage hotels to participate in the Hotel ITM’s initiatives and push ahead together with us on this journey of transformation to meet guests’ evolving needs in an era of change and disruption,” said Mr Lionel Yeo, STB’s Chief Executive.
“The hotel industry must continue to innovate and transform itself to keep up with emerging trends in businesses and technologies, as well as consumers’ changing preferences. At the same time, we must provide a strong value proposition to potential employees, in order to draw in and retain good talent. SHA, together with STB, will work with hotels to raise the industry’s standards in these relevant areas,” said Mr Albert Teo, President, SHA.