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Singapore seeks to better understand tourists with ride-sharing partnership

Singapore Tourism Board has inked a three-year agreement with ride-hailing operator Grab to offer the latter's mobile wallet service at tourist hotspots and analyse visitors' behavioural and transport patterns.

Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has inked a three-year agreement with regional ride-sharing operator, Grab, to offer the latter's mobile wallet service at tourist hotspots as well as analyse visitors' behavioural and transport patterns.

Amongst the initiatives covered under the agreement, both organisations would deploy GrabPay at locations with high tourist traffic such as dining locations, shopping malls, and tourist attractions.

Visitors at these locations would be able to pay for goods and services without changing for local currency and redeem GrabRewards points through the vendor's mobile app. The two partners also would exchange insights on tourist preferences.

They also would be rolling out a study to analyse tourists' behavioural patterns and transport preferences as they travel within Singapore. The data insights then would enable STB and Grab to tweak their service offerings to better meet visitors' needs, they said.

In addition, Grab gradually would share its ride-booking APIs (application programming interfaces) through STB's Tourism Information & Services Hub to allow some tourism businesses to integrate their own online platforms with Grab's tools. The objective here was to help tourists better plan their travel routes with easier access to information, for example, on estimated transport fares and waiting times.

According to STB, its hub served as a central API gateway that aggregated destination content and services. These would be distributed across various tourism-related digital channels such as kiosks, websites, and mobile apps, that were linked to the STB hub.

STB CTO Quek Choon Yang said: "Our collaboration with Grab extends beyond transportation to include sharing of consumer intelligence data and spearheading innovation and technological initiatives."

He noted that with Grab's presence in Southeast Asia, which contributed a large share of visitors to Singapore, the two companies would be able to reach a "sizeable audience through the multi-faceted touch points" available through Grab's app.

STB last June also signed an partnership agreement with Tencent to jointly promote Singapore as a destination of choice for China tourists through the Chinese internet giant's targeted advertising applications.

The alliance also encompassed analysis of user data to better understand Chinese visitors and support for Tencent's WeChat Pay.