The Singapore Tourism Accelerator is a highly-selective, equity-free 4-month programme for the world’s most promising technology startups or pre-scaleups that can power the travel and tourism industry. The Singapore Tourism Accelerator is organised by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and its appointed innovation partners, Ravel Innovation and The Next Web.
We are looking for the very best in innovation and are particularly interested in companies that are developing solutions to future-proof the travel and tourism industry and help tourism companies thrive amidst the challenges brought about by COVID-19. Whether you already have some traction in the industry, or are looking to apply your solution to the industry for the first time, we want to hear from you.
For more information about the accelerator go to this website.
“This was one of the top Accelerator programmes that we went through. We really appreciate the speakers, the content, the pilots and the support we have received from STB and the Ravel Innovation team”
Kirti Chandel, Chief Product Officer, WooHoo® Voice AI
See here an overview of the programme plan
See here an overview of the cohort 4 demo day from earlier in 2021
All Challenge Statements
|1||Global Travel||AI to improve staff productivity for corporate travel|
|2||The Ascott Limited||Water and/or energy conservation for sustainability|
|3||Mount Faber Leisure Group||Emission-free electricity generator to power operations of attractions and F&B|
|4||Singapore Cruise Center||Data Management and Analytics to identify customer personas|
|5||STB Wellness||Experiential product offering for wellness providers|
|6||STB Wellness||In room wellness tech offering for hotel industry|
|7||Pontiac Land Group||Collaborative Monitoring platform for sustainability initiatives|
|8||WTS Travel||High touch customer engagement platform|
|9||DreamUs||Ad-hoc, candid image capturing of guest interaction|
|10||Tribe||Automate tour operator bookings by push communication to internal parties and customer|
|11||Gardens by the Bay||High-touch concierge and immersive wayfinding.|
|12||Milllennium Hotels & Resorts||Labour forecasting, scheduling, optimisation and deployment|
|13||Milllennium Hotels & Resorts||Measuring and reducing environmental impact along supply chain|
|14||Milllennium Hotels & Resorts||Measuring guest satisfaction in innovative and non-traditional ways|
|15||KrisShop||Digital, yet highly personalized customer engagement|
|16||EU Holidays||Streamline customer data management from booking to CRM|
|17||Pelago||Responsive and scalable intelligent support for decision making/bookings by travelers|
|18||Shangri-La||Data analytics tool to identify, recruit and retain employees aged 18-28 years old.|
|19||Informa Markets||End-to-end visitor management platform for hybrid events (O2O)|
Hospitality Challenge Statements
Context: As part of the Capitaland Master Sustainability Plan, Ascott is committed to reducing water and energy use over the next few years. There is an increasing need for the group to find solutions that can address the needs of the properties that Ascott operates globally.
Pilot Requirements: A solution that will help Ascott-operated properties to reduce water and/or energy usage. The solution should be retrofittable and/or simple to implement (i.e. easily installed with minimum wiring/hacking and reduce the downtime in rooms to be sold) If possible, the charging model is based on a revenue share where the vendor takes a cut out of the savings made from the utility
bill. This will allow properties to implement easily without incurring large upfront CAPEX.
Technology: IOT, Data, Analytics
Additional benefits of this pilot:
Pilot Requirements: Explore and implement a digitized tool/ platform to better track and monitor progress over our sustainability initiatives with data collection and analytics to understand their status towards achieving set goals. Bonus: collaborative e-marketplace/ platform to monitor and share sustainability efforts across the industry. In the future, it would be good if the platform would also allow providers related to the goals to share and propose products or solutions for us to achieve our goals.
Technology: Open to any technological solutions
Additional benefits of this pilot:
Context: Millennium Hotels has six properties in Singapore and many more around the world. As an industry, we have suffered from labour shortages for many years. With the recovery from Covid underway, we expect this situation only to worsen. Our sister hotels around the world are also suffering from similar challenges.
Pilot Requirements: We are looking for a solution that will allow us to forecast demand by 15-minute periods and then optimally schedule labour against it including cross deployment to maximize both efficiency and service. The solution should also allow us to understand opportunities for cross deployment by allowing us to see inversely correlated demand curves. In addition, it should help us to understand “shrinkage” due to illness so we can account for it in scheduling. In a perfect world, the tool would inform us of the optimal mix of outsource vs. fixed labour, and it should understand local labour laws or allow for them to be programmed in. Finally, in a perfect world it would understand what is happening real time to allow us to shift resources to optimize service and productivity. Finally, as we have a cluster of hotels, we would like to be able to combine this data for all of them to allow for cross deployment between hotels as well between departments.
The tool should allow us to print and communicate schedules and ideally would enable visualization on mobile devices and the swapping of shifts given employees have the same skills.
Technology: AI and Analytics
You can find more information from Millennium Hotels & Resorts below:
📹 Explanatory video
Context: Millennium Hotels has six properties in Singapore and many more around the world. Like our parent company CDL, we are very focused on our ESG impact, and we need to find more ways to meaningfully improve our carbon footprint.
Pilot Requirements: Technology, analysis, and data sets that will enable us to accurately understand the environmental footprint of our supply chain / and existing or proposed suppliers and goods so we can measure and reduce our environmental impact more effectively.
Technology: AI and Analytics. Possibly blockchain and IOT could be part of the solution.
Context: Millennium Hotels has six properties in Singapore and many more around the world. We survey our guests in both hotel and restaurant, but do not have the response rates we would like.
Pilot Requirements: We are looking for a tool that will allow us to assess guest satisfaction for hotel and F&B products without having to do a formal survey or pulling back information from the internet. This would be an addendum to any survey we have. This could be done at the front desk on arrival and departure, and in restaurants as people dine. An added bonus would be to be able to install it on an adhoc basis, say at a buffet station or in a fitness facility as changes are made to gauge effectiveness and impact on service.
Technology: AI, video or MM wave analytics
Context: In their employment journey with Shangri-La Singapore, we noticed that the age group between 18 to 28 years old have the highest turnover rate, resulting in the need to re-hire and manpower shortage in the short and long term.
Pilot Requirements: Our objective is to be the most sought after employer in the hotel industry for people aged 18-28 years old in three years’ time. We are looking for a technology solution to understand and gather data insights for this age group as part of our hotel’s recruitment efforts, and help us to identify the best characteristics and recommendations for this profile of people to join our organisation and be retained as employees over time. The tool should also have functions and features to allow our organisation to analyse behaviour and draw conclusions on how best to retain employees from this age group.
Technology: Data analysis engine/software
Travel Agents/Tour operator Challenge Statements
Context: Tribe is a growing travel company that handles bookings from multiple sources that include third party platforms, direct bookings on our website, phone bookings, and bookings made via whatsapp. Tour operations are largely manually executed by staff that include booking of tour guide, vehicle, and informing vendors of visit mainly via whatsapp or calls. This also includes emails being sent to customers once the tour is confirmed.
Pilot Requirements: PRIMARY NEED: We are looking for a digital solution that is able to take these various information sources and automatically trigger messages (via whatsapp) to confirm a tour booking. These include whatsapp messages to conveyance operators, tour guides, stall/store vendors and in turn capture their confirmation to trigger that the tour is confirmed. After which, a confirmation email is automatically sent to customers and tour operators.
SECONDARY NEED: Going one step further, if the incoming tour bookings via a singular email can be automatically filled into the excel spreadsheet, this will be even better.
This solution will alleviate much of the booking operations processes that are done manually (which can lead to errors) and automate a chunk of the bookings management processes. This booking management system could also provide for another automated method of notifying customers and or tour operators of bookings (beyond email).
Technology: Unsure but it seems like an API to connect our emails to that of whatsapp push technology and in turn capture the incoming confirmation messages from the various tour parties to trigger a tour confirmation.
Context: With over 15 outlets across Singapore during pre-COVID days, WTS Travel has always placed importance in reaching out to our customers at their convenience. With the decrease of our brick-and-mortar stores, we are aiming to digitalise and seek solutions to replace our physical outlets while still providing personalised services with real-time video conference calls. This solution should value-add to our existing services such that it attracts newer and younger customers with never before seen features.
Pilot Requirements: A one-stop travel platform that can allow customers to communicate with our customer service officers through real-time video conference calls and at the same time complete their booking. This platform should also have a pouch feature that can collate their documents required for their trip. I.e. Travel tickets, hotel vouchers, attraction tickets, itinerary. There should also be a built-in calendar/reminder function so that important dates are saved. This is especially important with the introduction of frequent COVID-19 tests when travelling via the vaccinated travel lane (VTL). The solution should utilize customer data for analytics.
Technology: IoT, Data Analytics
Context: For corporate travel, there are many different travel policies to be adhered to, and the current manual flight and hotel recommendation process is time-consuming
Pilot Requirements: AI and chatbot assisted booking system where corporate client info (travel policy, profiles, past bookings/preferences) are saved, and integrated with the global distribution system and flight/hotel suggestions can be generated quickly ,saving time and driving efficiency.
Technology: AI, Chatbot, Traveltech
Context: Travel Agencies need to get to know their customers and clients to make better use of their marketing outreach as well as offer more personalised customer service and experience. The process of mapping booking data with CRM data is however very manual and error prone. EU Holidays is looking for a solution that can create personas for targeted & personalised service by combing through and drawing insights from CRM and booking system. This is the biggest challenge. Traditional Travel Agencies are facing when embarking on a digital journey - The digitalisation of processes and centralisation of customers’ data for big data analysis is crucial to enhance customer service, reach and experience using targeted content.
Pilot Requirements: Bridging of CRM (“HubSpot”) and booking system (“System Design”, a legacy Singapore designed software that is over 20 years old and hardly goes through any update) to analyse thus create Personas effectively
Technology: Cloud, Data Analysis, AI, Blockchain (additional)
Context: Pelago is an online travel marketplace that connects travelers to activities and experiences all around the world, helping them to make bookings seamlessly and easily. Customers face uncertainty and stress when making decisions about upcoming travel, especially if they are unfamiliar with the product/activity or destination. Before committing to purchases, they spend vast amounts of time researching (this may be within Pelago and outside Pelago) in order to gain confidence that a certain product will meet their needs and expectations. This problem is also compounded with additional elements of unfamiliarity, when customers are new to the platform (i.e. Pelago), if the product they are interested in is niche and not yet widely reviewed elsewhere, if they have questions specific to their unique scenarios and needs, or if the information is not clearly indicated on Pelago.
Pelago wants to provide relevant and meaningful assurances to customers so that their concerns are addressed and their purchases can be made with confidence. We want to deliver these assurances in a way that is immediate and responsive, and also empathetic and human.
Pilot Requirements: A solution to help time-pressed customers who may be coming from different countries (i.e. comfortable with different languages) get the info they need in a responsive / immediate way to facilitate the customer journey in these areas (ideally but not necessarily in both):
The solution should enable this in a way that humanises the digital experience with minimal effort from ground staff, due to manpower resourcing challenges and language constraints while scaling up rapidly across geolocations.
Technology: The solution should minimally work on browser-based platforms. The solution can be based on (but are not restricted to) the following technologies:
Possibility for exposure to the Singapore Airlines Group and marketing support to their customer base, depending on the solution and subject to approval.
You can find more information from Pelago below:
Attractions Challenge Statements
Context: DreamUs Group is the operator behind popular indoor family entertainment center including SuperPark Singapore, Pororo Park Singapore, Tayo Station and Petite Tayo KidsClub. We aim to be the preferred entertainment centre for families. Our target audience includes families with young children, teenagers and playful adults. DreamUs is in the business of happiness and takes pride in providing excellent service and moments for families to build precious memories together.
Pilot Requirements: Being in the business of happiness, DreamUs aims to capture candid moments in real time (in the form of photos or videos) and experiences of their guests to record precious memories built during their playtime in the parks. (As opposed to normal posed photographs typically found in attractions)
Technology: RFID, Facial recognition, Machine Learning, Drone videography, photography.
Context: Part of the Gardens’ Operation Technology Roadmap is to provide a delightful experience by engaging visitors pre-trip, during visit and post trip. Visitors usually require assistance in wayfinding and expect quick service to their queries. Gardens currently provides several communication means and channels to visitors through app, web, social media, messaging, call centre and on-site information. However, the responses and information provision to the visitors are usually lacking in speed and integration.
Pilot Requirements: A solution that will:
1. Allow visitors to quickly find their way in the gardens with information through digital and physical interactions not just in the main attractions but also throughout the gardens and during events.
2. Provide responses fast and accurately to visitors on their queries and feedback through various means and channels and allow gardens staff to be able to track and analyse quickly via both mobile and desktop.
3. Provide concierge services such as those given by the information counters which are currently not in operation since Covid-19 started.
Technology: Mobile, Contactless, Chatbot, IoT, AR, Data Analytics
Context: Travellers are increasingly becoming sustainability conscious and want to be associated with sustainable tourism brands. Mount Faber Leisure Group (MFLG) is aware of its carbon impact and is looking for solutions to decarbonize its footprint. The Sustainability team of MFLG has ascertained that energy/electricity is a major source of its carbon emissions and exploring alternate sources of energy would be an efficient tool of decarbonization.
Pilot Requirements: We are looking for creative and innovative renewable energy hardware solutions that help to generate electricity in an emission-free manner. The solution should capitalise on our location being on top of Mount Faber Park (nature park) with ample wind, rain, sunshine and footfall from guests. Solutions should also preferably demonstrate circularity within our operations like F&B, Tourism attraction and Cable car. The energy generated must be metered and data should be available seamlessly, preferably via cloud storage.
Some examples might include:
Technology: Sustainable Energy Hardware Technology, Renewable Energy Hardware Technology, Alternate Energy Hardware Technology
Eg: low velocity wind turbine, piezoelectricity, acoustic energy, biogas energy, etc
You can find more information from Mount Faber below:
📝 Explanatory slides
Wellness Challenge Statements
Pilot Requirements: An innovative B2B2C or B2C experiential product or service that can be offered to wellness and tourism industry partners such as hotels, wellness integrated centres, large-scale wellness boutiques to help rejuvenate tourists and improve their wellbeing. In particular, we are looking for solutions where technology can be harnessed for experiential products/offerings (like during a yoga class, sound healing retreat, spa session, TCM consult). The experience should be attractive enough with a unique selling point, have clear tourism impact and benefit, thereby strengthening the industry partner’s brand association with wellness, and attracting visitors to experience and spend. Conversely, solutions that do not have a destination/experiential element such as apps targeted at personal wellness are not ideal. The pilot will kick off when STB Wellness Team secures a suitable industry partner for the solution.
Technology: Media Tech, Robotics, Health Tech, Fitness Tech, Experiential Tech, Wellness Tech/Hardware
Context: With an increasing emphasis on wellbeing, hotels are no longer viewed simply as a place of accommodation, but also a place where modern travellers can indulge in a holistic and healthy lifestyle such as better sleep, healthier food, fitness programs and feel rejuvenated mentally. At the moment, hotels tend to view pursuit of wellness through ancillary services, such as having a gym and spa, or to create staycation packages by packaging activities and add-ons to a stay. There is an opportunity to leverage tech solutions to expand the horizons beyond the four walls of a hotel room to provide a more holistic experience while ensuring seamlessness, personalization, and quality in terms of services offered.
Pilot Requirements: A smart solution that can help guests improve their holistic wellbeing seamlessly within the comfort of their hotel rooms. The solution can either be a product that offers direct in-room access to wellness experiences or be an enabler that guides guests towards achieving a state of wellness (rejuvenated physically and mentally) during their stay. Examples of leveraging on technology to aid in holistic wellbeing:
Technology: AR/VR, AI, Data Analytics, IoT, Media Tech, Robotics, Sleep Tech (Circadian Rhythm, Auto diffuse essential oils), Wellness Tech, Wearables
Cruise Challenge Statements
Context: SCC operates ferry and cruise terminals in Singapore. In 3 years’ time, we want SCC to be the top choice for short trips out of Singapore by providing a seamless guest experience year-round
Pilot Requirements: We are looking for ideas and technologies to help us to:
In short, we would focus on customer data acquisition, generating insights and associating relevant experiences (products and services) that would attract more customers to come to SCC and take a ferry to Batam / Bintan / Malaysia year round.
As a follow on post pilot, we would like to extend the same concept and technologies to cover our cruise terminal operations.
Retail Challenge Statements
Context: We are an Omni-Channel eCommerce retailer keen on developing a special ‘Personal Shopper’ service for our premium Clientele.
Pilot Requirements: To provide a digital personalised service to our high-value customers. The pilots should focus on WhatsApp as the first messaging channel, with the capability to extend across other Messaging Channels (e.g. Facebook, Telegram, Instagram etc.). From an agent’s perspective, all the different messaging channels should be supported by a single inbox for easy viewing, management and communication. With WhatsApp being the initial messaging channel, each agent should have a unique account for the user/ customer to see he/ she is discussing with one person, but in the back-end it should be possible to integrate all these WhatsApp channels into a single inbox.
Despite having a single outward facing retailer account on WhatsApp – from customer’s perspective, each agent handling the Customer Experience should have a unique account to deliver the ‘Personal Shopper’ experience to engage and manage customers under their individual care. (I.e. To have the ability to build Customer-Agent specific business relationships). The conventional approach of a common/ standard account for all agents will erode the personal touch that we intend to create.
*Based on this information collected, the digital platform should alert the agent (a.k.a Customer Relationship Manager) on when to re-engage which specific customer, why should they engage, and what do they recommend.
Technology: Data analytics, tailored messaging channel, secure payment facility, API integration.
Additional Benefits of this pilot: