The STB and TripAdvisor are expanding their partnership to boost more sharing of the experiences that both locals and travellers have in Singapore;
Through this new initiative, both partners aim to raise local tourism stakeholders’ awareness on how they can benefit from user-generated content, while enriching, at the same time, Singapore’s listings and content on the TripAdvisor website.
This will in turn enhance travellers’ trip research and planning process, and hopefully inspire potential travellers to visit Singapore.
“User-generated content is a top source of information for consumers worldwide. Many travellers rely heavily on online reviews by their peers before deciding on places to visit and things to do. We are excited to expand our partnership with TripAdvisor to bring better and more relevant content to potential visitors,” said Ms Lim Shoo Ling, Deputy Director, Strategic Marketing and Brand, Singapore Tourism Board.
Deepening industry ties
For the first time, TripAdvisor will be conducting TripAdvisor Industry Sessions for all Singapore tourism stakeholders, beyond the hotel industry. These sessions, which are free, will help more local tourism establishments get onto the online travel review space, making the ecosystem richer and more vibrant for both consumers and businesses.
At the sessions starting in July 2014, tourism stakeholders will learn how to manage their profile pages effectively, respond to traveller reviews, and utilise free online marketing tools. Well-managed accounts on TripAdvisor can become powerful marketing and customer engagement tools, benefiting individual businesses and the local industry.
A recent PhoCusWright study revealed that more than 80 per cent of respondents say TripAdvisor reviews help them feel more confident in their travel decisions, and help them to have a better trip. As such, stakeholders attending the classes would gain insights on how they can attract more business through TripAdvisor.
As a first step in this direction, TripAdvisor ‘review reminders’ will be placed in the Grand Prix Season Singapore (GPSS) event guide and other relevant consumer materials. Participating businesses can encourage patrons to boost reviews of their establishments and offerings during GPSS (12 to 21 Sep 2014) on TripAdvisor.
“Online travel reviews provide a highly visible global platform for word-of-mouth recommendations, and allow for constructive feedback for improvement. Through our partnership with TripAdvisor, we aim to help local stakeholders maximise the benefits of online travel reviews,” added Ms Lim.
“We are excited about the expanded scope of partnership with Singapore Tourism Board. Beyond embracing the consumer voice, it also demonstrates the foresight and commitment of the Board to empower the tourism industry in enagaging international visitors with TripAdvisor traveller reviews. ” says Aaron Hung, Director of Partnerships, APAC, for TripAdvisor.
Broadening the spectrum
STB and TripAdvisor will also expand the range of Singapore content available online to enable visitors to better plan their visit and share their experience of Singapore. These additions will complement STB’s official consumer website, www.yoursingapore.com, which includes TripAdvisor’s ratings and reviews.
Singapore’s marquee annual events will be a new addition to TripAdvisor Singapore listings, placing them together with the relevant recommended activities in Singapore. Event organisers will be able to leverage TripAdvisor’s platform to list their annual long-running events, as well as better understand their consumers’ experiences and feedback through reviews on their events’ profile pages. For example, ZoukOut will be added to the “Nightlife” section, joining the existing listings of popular night spots, while the upcoming Women’s Tennis Association Finals will be added to the “Sports” section.
Experts on Singapore’s precincts, such as the precinct associations, local tourism players, STB, and other government organisations will also work together to develop walking tours and itineraries that can best showcase the wonders of the precincts.
The Little India Shopkeepers Heritage Association (LISHA) will rally together restaurants, retail shops, and relevant establishments within Little India to showcase the precinct’s key experiences and highlights, featuring them on TripAdvisor to allow visitors to better experience the precinct in a meaningful way. To fully integrate with the online travel review space, participating businesses will also put up signage to collect more reviews, generating greater visibility for the businesses and precinct overall.
In the long term, these reviews would help STB and LISHA better understand traveller needs so that tourism products and offerings can be constantly refined to amplify the Singapore experience.
 According to PhoCusWright’s “Custom Survey Research Engagement,” prepared for TripAdvisor, December 2013. A total of 12,225 respondents from around the world participated in the survey.
Singapore Tourism and TripAdvisor join forces to expose local businesses.