The Covid-19 pandemic has led to limited travel between countries for close to a year now. If you have been thinking of visiting Singapore (or getting to know it more intimately and in a brand-new way), you’re in luck – thanks to a new partnership between the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Airbnb Experiences.
The two-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) aims to co-promote and grow a range of unique, authentic Airbnb Experiences hosted by locals on the Airbnb Experiences platform.
As a start, both partners have launched a collection of local Online Experiences under an initiative called Singapore Virtual Trips, which allows people from all over the world to explore Singapore virtually and learn about its exciting attractions, history and culture. Activities include a sustainability-themed tour at Gardens by the Bay’s Cloud Forest, a virtual visit to Peranakan home museum The Intan with its owner Alvin Yapp and a virtual tour of the Old Kallang Airport with Jerome Lim, founder of heritage website The Long and Winding Road.
More tourism partners are expected to join this initiative, and STB and Airbnb hope their partnership will encourage Singapore tourism businesses to take their products online and pivot towards innovative hybrid business models. Beyond virtual experiences, both parties are also working to provide in-person Airbnb Experiences across various categories, including dining, nature, wellness and the arts.
“This is an exciting new way for Gardens by the Bay to continue to delight people, enabling us to connect with friends and fans around the world,” says Chad Davis, deputy director of Gardens by the Bay’s Cloud Forest. “I look forward to sharing my passion for our Cloud Forest and helping virtual visitors rediscover the region’s most extraordinary cooled conservatory through this unique virtual format.”
Another aim between the collaboration is to make sure Singapore remains “top-of-mind” as a destination among global audiences. Hence, jointly produced content will be promoted across the platforms and channels of both parties, such as STB’s online Tourism Information and Services Hub.
Airbnb Experiences guests who sign up for the VisitSingapore app can also unlock benefits such as exclusive offers. In addition, STB was invited to access Airbnb’s Experience’s data-sharing platform City Portal, which is aimed at governments and tourism bodies to equip them with travel insights.
“Healthy travel is travel that keeps the economics local and is authentic to the culture of the destination,” says Chris Lehane, Airbnb’s senior vice-president of policy and communications. “I have personally enjoyed Airbnb’s Singaporean cooking Experiences and know that such Experiences unlock new ways to discover Singapore through its greatest natural resource – its people.” He adds that their partnership will give a boost to the recovery of international tourism.