Hotel groups pump SG$2mln in marketing push to raise SG's tourism numbers

Five hotel brands are teaming up to launch an overseas marketing campaign, with ground travel products and services firm Gullivers Travel Associates (GTA) spearheading the campaign.

The Ritz-Carlton, Resorts World Sentosa, Global Premium Hotel, FRHI Hotels and Resorts and Far East Hospitality are pooling in SG$2 million in funding for a marketing campaign aimed at boosting sluggish tourist numbers that have hit Singapore in recent years.  The marketing campaign is set to promote a total of 22 of their hotels and resorts. The companies will work with GTA to help them sell their rooms to travel agents overseas.

The Straits Times reported that while the number of hotels in the city has increased by 5%, tourist arrival numbers has seen a 5% year- on-year decline.

Daryl Lee, regional vice president, sales and marketing, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, told Marketing that the programme was set up to drive visits to Singapore from Asia Pacific and the Middle East countries. More specifically, the year-long campaign aims to increase tourist traffic of visitors from secondary cities in countries like China, South Korea, Indonesia and India.

Lee added, "We will also be working the ground in Australia and UAE as these are markets that still have great potential for inbound to Singapore."

For a campaign that aims to boost tourism in Singapore, the marketing initiative is wholly independent of the Singapore Tourism Board. Ong Huey Hong, director, hotels & sector manpower, Singapore Tourism Board told Marketing: “We welcome such initiatives by industry players as they help to extend our marketing reach to overseas markets. In an increasingly competitive environment, we need more promotional activities to excite potential visitors about Singapore as a vibrant destination.”

When asked if STB has set up any guidelines for the marketing campaigns, Lee said, "We have been working with STB in the various markets overseas for many years and this program will not change the on-going collaboration. In fact, we believe it will enhance our collective efforts to boost tourist arrivals. Our key objective is to provide ‘surround sound’ to all the STB campaigns globally. After all, our common objective of increasing awareness for destination Singapore is very aligned."

He clarified that the program "aims to complement and in no way contrast the collective efforts of all stakeholders."

Headed by GTA, this inaugural collaboration between the hotels to promote Singapore will see all the partners funding the program in varying proportions.

According to Lee, the marketing fund spent will be spearheaded by GTA and will focus on introducing a series of hidden gems of Singapore and address the misconception that Singapore is an expensive city to visit. Lee said, "The marketing campaign will appeal to more segments of different visitors and drive the tourists arrivals, especially in those cities where awareness of Singapore hotels and attractions are not as strong."