by Travel Weekly Asia | November 12, 2019

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Representatives from STB, WeChat and SACEOS at the launch of MeetSG.

SINGAPORE - Singapore has become the first country destination in the world to partner Chinese tech giant WeChat to launch an initiative targeting Chinese MICE travellers.

At a launch at Suntec Convention & Exhibition Centre on Nov 10, Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and the Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (SACEOS) announced that they have partnered WeChat to develop a mini programme called MeetSG - a library of information about Singapore as a MICE destination, business events and meetings community, as well as the city's offerings.

MASSIVE REACH

MeetSG will be made available to over 1 billion monthly active users on WeChat, in their native language. It will be piloted with a few upcoming business events in Singapore, including the Singapore FinTech Festival x Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology (SFF x SWITCH), the Asia TV Forum & Market, as well as the Singapore Airshow.

Developed in partnership with WeMeet, MeetSG will enable MICE event organisers to connect with their Chinese attendees in a more direct and immersive way, offering key information including event schedules and venue, news and push notifications.

It also allows Chinese MICE travellers to access up-to-date leisure information and curated offers, such as suggested places to eat and shop, as well as options to purchase tickets to tours and entertainment at partner venues, including Gardens by the Bay, Sports Hub, Sentosa and Faber Peak Singapore.

In 2018, China was Singapore's top Visitor Arrival (VA) market. It grew by +6% year-on-year to record more than 3.4 million Chinese arrivals into Singapore. In terms of Tourism Receipts (TR), Chinese visitors were also top spenders in Singapore in 2018, contributing over S$3.9 billion in TR (representing an increase of +1% year-on-year).

KEY MARKET

STB deputy CEO Melissa Ow said: "China is an important visitor market. STB is always looking for innovative and impactful ways to improve the visitor experience for Chinese MICE visitors, and make their journey in Singapore seamless and memorable. To this end, we are pleased to collaborate with SACEOS and WeChat to be the first country destination in the world to develop the MeetSG WeChat Mini Program for Chinese MICE travellers.

"We believe this initiative will also give us invaluable insights into the Chinese MICE visitors, which will in turn enable us to continually engage with them and enrich their consumer experience."

WeChat believes the global adoption of WeChat-enabled services by the larger tourism industry will enhance the quality of experience for Chinese outbound business visitors, said its general manager and head of marketing Ms Juliet Zhu.

"This partnership that we have embarked on with SACEOS and STB empowers Singapore as the world's first country destination to have a comprehensive digital solution not only for leisure tourists, but also business and MICE travellers on WeChat," added Ms Zhu.

"Working with STB and SACEOS has created a unique way for WeChat to serve the fast growing business travel market and work more closely with the local partners to provide more versatile services to our users."

WIRED FOR THE FUTURE

SACEOS president Aloysius Arlando said driving the MeetSG WeChat Mini Program is one of its key initiatives to encourage digitalisation in Singapore's MICE industry, and is a lever to catalyse local MICE stakeholders to be wired for the future.

"SACEOS aims to inspire our industry by taking the lead in technology adoption. Through this partnership with STB and WeChat, we can pool our strengths together with a longer term goal to enable a digitally- and future-ready MICE industry.," he said.

"We hope this will spur our industry partners to further leverage technologies to the benefit of our MICE visitors, and come on board with us to grow the MeetSG WeChat Mini Program together."