Singapore's hotel industry to get digital push from government. Source: Shutterstock

Singapore’s hotel industry to get digital push from government. Source: Shutterstock

Singapore to boost domestic hotel industry with new digital plan

WHEN TOURISTS arrive at a hotel, they expect to be delighted — and technology can help with that.

The hotel industry has plenty of options to choose from when it comes to going digital. From robotic process automation (RPA) to machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI), the options are plenty.

In Singapore, with the hotel industry boasting of 400 properties offering 67,000 rooms, going digital isn’t about just delighting customers but also ensuring that the country continues to be seen as the leading digital innovator in the APAC.

Given that the industry also employs 35,000 people and contributes SGD4 billion (US$2.94 billion) to tourist receipts, the government has taken an interest in helping hotels in the country accelerate their adoption of technology.

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has just released a new hotel industry digital plan, in partnership with the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), to guide enterprises, including SMEs, in the hotel industry.

According to IMDA, the plan provides the industry with an easy-to-use, step-by-step guide on the digital solutions to adopt at each stage of their growth.

Further, it includes a roadmap for training to ensure that the workforce is adequately prepared with the necessary skills and mindset to adopt digital solutions, and can help drive the changes that come with digital transformation.

Overall, the plan is divided into three stages:

Stage 1: Getting digital economy ready

Digital “solutions”, according to IMDA, are intended to enable hotels to enhance digital capabilities, optimize operations, and improve productivity.

Stage 2: Growing in the digital economy

Hotels looking to enhance the guest experience further can leverage certain “solutions” that would tap on data-driven insights and integration across systems within and beyond the hotel’s ecosystem.

Stage 3: Leaping ahead

At this stage, hotels can explore advanced solutions for higher levels of automation and look at providing guests with a seamless overall experience in Singapore to tap into the technology resources that the tourism board offers.

While the plan does not specify what the specific solutions they intend to recommend to the hotels — it obviously will depend on the size, scale, and needs of the establishments themselves.

Overall, the reality is that there are exciting possibilities for digital solutions in the hotel industry, and customers — tourists — ultimately will benefit, boosting their spend in the country and helping Singapore retain its tag as a digital-first economy.