Singapore's hospitality sector gears up for future, beefs up digital capabilities

As published in Strait Times Business section on SEP 29, 2021, 5:00 AM SGT. View the original article here.
Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore launched a process that lets guests check in to the hotel with their selfie on asmartphone's web browser. PHOTOS: DUSIT THANI LAGUNA SINGAPORE

Sue-Ann Tan

SINGAPORE - Hospitality firms are preparing for the new world of travel by launching concept-driven hotels and experimenting with digital tools to make the experience safer and more contactless.

Take Far East Hospitality, which opened Oasia Resort Sentosa this month, marking the group's first foray into the resort and spa category.

Chief executive Arthur Kiong said the group is looking at concept-driven accommodation: "Starting with The Clan Hotel in Singapore, our expansion efforts have shifted to offer guests concept hotels, in terms of precinct or proposition, rather than a standalone building comprising rooms."

Clan Hotel is positioned as a modern luxury hotel with a nostalgic story to tell, by evoking the history of clans around the Amoy Street area.

Marriott International also opened a hotel The Duxton Reserve in February and will open The Maxwell Singapore towards the end of the year.

Mr Rajeev Menon, president for the Asia Pacific excluding Greater China, said: "Hyper-localised strategies and an agile, forward-thinking approach will continue to be our focus. Last year, we signed a Southeast Asia-wide partnership with Grab.

"We are working to integrate our offerings into Grab's platform in phases across food delivery, payment, transport, loyalty, and rewards. In Singapore, Marriott Bonvoy features at least 17 restaurants and bars on Grab Food's platform."

Meanwhile, other hotels are using this slow period to beef up their digital capabilities to provide a safer experience for guests.

Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore recently launched a process in partnership with digital identity software provider GTRIIP that lets guests check in to the hotel with their selfie on a smartphone's web browser.

It is integrated with STB's e-visitor authentication service and major hotel property management systems.

Singapore Hotel Association president Kwee Wei-Lin said: "Although digital transformation of Singapore's hospitality services began a few years ago, the pandemic has accelerated the process.

"We are thankful that Singapore's infrastructure supports a smooth and rapid adoption of technological advancement in hotel operations.

"While battling the pandemic, SHA is relentless in our effort to continue the hotel industry's transition to cost-efficient operations without compromising service excellence."