STB, SDC and Alipay to roll out payment solution to 70% of Sentosa merchants

Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC), Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Alipay have collaborated to launch Alipay’s payment solutions across 70% of merchants that participate in the Sentosa Islander Membership programme.

This partnership aims to further enhance guest experiences and enable access to Sentosa and its attractions, F&B and retail outlets for Chinese visitors. Alipay is popular with Chinese users, and China is growing in importance as a key source market for Singapore, a statement read. The visitor arrivals were 1.7 million, while the tourism receipts amounted to SG$2 billion for Singapore in the first half of 2018.

To drive consumer awareness of and participation in the initiative, the three partners will run a marketing campaign titled, Smart Sentosa until March 2019. The campaign, comprising various promotions, is timed to coincide with key travel periods for Chinese visitors such as the Lunar New Year in February.

The Smart Sentosa campaign looks to offer Chinese visitors the opportunity to grab the Sentosa Islander membership at an exclusive rate. Sign-ups can be done through various platforms including Alipay, Fliggy, Taobao, or Tmall, with a virtual Sentosa Islander card appearing in guests’ Alipay accounts after registration.

Apart from unlimited free entry into Sentosa island, the Sentosa Islander membership also offers discounts at the 70 attractions, F&B, hotels and retail outlets to Chinese visitors using Alipay. These merchants include Universal Studios Singapore, S.E.A. Aquarium, Adventure Cove Waterpark, AJ Hackett Sentosa, as well as Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa, Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa, and others. To further drive tourist spend, Alipay will be offering users e-vouchers that can be redeemed at any of the participating merchants across Sentosa.

According to a recent Nielsen report on outbound Chinese tourism and consumption trends, Singapore was ranked one of the most popular destinations outside of Chinese mainland for Chinese tourists to visit.

Lynette Ang, chief marketing officer, SDC said, With 19 million locals and tourists visiting Sentosa annually, technology is a key enabler in our efforts to create seamless experiences for today’s digitally savvy and connected guests. "The rollout of Alipay’s cashless payment solutions in Sentosa is one fitting illustration of how we constantly collaborate with various partners on technological innovations to make our guests’ stay fun and enjoyable. Through these efforts, we look forward to welcoming even more guests to Sentosa's unique leisure experiences,” Ang said.

Cherry Huang, general manager, Cross-border Business for South and Southeast Asia, Alipay said in Singapore, Sentosa is a favourite attraction for Chinese visitors and business delegates who convene at the various hotels for seminars and conferences.

"We are happy to partner with Sentosa Development Corporation and Singapore Tourism Board to deploy Alipay touchpoints across the island for Chinese visitors who are looking for the best of retail, lifestyle and dining offerings and the same seamless payment experiences that they enjoy at home. It’s a privilege that this service is being extended to Chinese visitors via Alipay for the first time. We are very excited to help merchants on Sentosa connect better with Chinese visitors,” Huange added.

Jacqueline Ng, director, marketing partnerships and planning, STB said that the company places emphasis on collaboration with partners within and outside of the travel industry to promote Destination Singapore and deliver experiences to its visitors. She added that this partnership with Sentosa and Alipay is an illustration of how STB works with partners as visitors from China can now access discounts and benefits on various online platforms before arrival.

Meanwhile, STB and SDC have jointly rolled out the inaugural "Epic Adventures from the Island Beyond" marketing campaign, in a targeted effort to woo more Southeast Asian tourists to Sentosa. The campaign is aligned with STB’s new Passion Made Possible brand, which focuses on telling the stories of Singapore and its people to build affinity with visitors, as well as connecting with them through their passions.

It aims to showcase Sentosa’s array of unique adventures and experiences by featuring the island’s personalities, such as flowboarder Melissa Kamil from Wave House Sentosa, SDC’s arborist Daniel Seah, as well as celebrity chef Sam Leong and his son Joe Leong from Forest . The campaign consists of advertising across platforms such as print, social media and digital platforms and on-ground activations in markets such as Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines.