The Ministry of Communications and Information announced that The FinLab would be collaborating with the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and the National Association of Travel Agents Singapore (NATAS) to help travel agencies evolve and renovate their businesses via a digital transformation programme for the selected businesses.
Singapore’s economy relies heavily on the tourism industry, which accounts for approximately four per cent of its annual gross domestic product. However, changing consumer behaviour and the growing competition for tourism dollars regionally pose a significant challenge to the industry.
Consequently, to ensure the industry’s continued growth, it is important for members of the industry to grasp the currently available opportunities in the online travel market, particularly those in the Asia Pacific online travel market, which is expected to grow by 13 per cent by focusing on technological transformation.
None the less, it was noted that despite most consumers moving to online booking sites, travel agencies retain the opportunity to go beyond the usual issuance of e-tickets and vouchers and, in addition to these services, provide consumers with more personalised services. Thus, travel agencies must understand how they can apply digital solutions to understand and connect more effectively with their target audience along with personal interaction.
In the face of a dynamic economic landscape in Singapore, travel agencies and the companies and initiatives that seek to help them grow and transform must remain constantly cognizant of the challenges that SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) face in harnessing the potential of technology and in transforming it into benefits for their businesses.
Experts maintain that in order for the travel industry to continue to capitalise on growth opportunities in the long-term it must continue to innovate. One avenue to do this is to collaborate with partners who have the expertise to assist Singapore’s travel agents in developing digital competencies.
The FinLab’s programme presents the selected Singaporean travel agencies the opportunity to not only connect to The Finlab’s ecosystem of associates to transform their business digitally but also enables them to use what they have learned to improve their business’ performance, enhance consumer experiences and seize business opportunities present in the digital economy.
Ms Ong Ling Lee, Director at Travel Agents and Tourist Guides, STB stated that their collaboration with The FinLab is one of several initiatives created to support travel agencies and help them grown and transform their businesses in an increasingly competitive tourism market. “We hope that with the practical guidance provided by this acceleration programme, travel agents will be encouraged to take the first step towards achieving their growth ambitions”, Ms Lee added.
The UK based developer of next generation proton therapy technology, Advanced Oncotherapy plc (AVO), has selected RayStation as its treatment planning system for the first LIGHT (Linac Image Guided Hadron Technology) system at the proton therapy facility under construction at Harley Street in central London. Users at the clinic will have access to the full spectrum of RayStation’s functionality.
AVO and RaySearch have entered into a collaboration agreement to support the LIGHT system fully. The LIGHT system is a modular proton therapy system based on innovative technology, developed in a collaboration between the TERA project and CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. The heart of the system consists of a treatment room integrated with a linear accelerator, which accelerates protons to energies suitable for radiation therapy of cancer. The entire system is designed for cost effectiveness and low maintenance and has several key features, such as multiple spot sizes and fast energy switching time.
The order of RayStation for Harley street gives the users access to the full spectrum of RayStation’s functionality, including the fast proton Monte Carlo dose engine, robust 4D optimization, LET driven optimization, deformable registration, dose accumulation, plan adaptation, multi-criteria optimization and Plan Explorer for automatic plan generation.
Nicolas Serandour, AVO Chief Executive Officer, says: “We are thrilled to collaborate with RaySearch. RaySearch has established themselves as the technology of choice for light ion therapy treatment planning. As we bring our advanced particle therapy treatment technology into the field, it makes sense to have the most advanced treatment planning capability to complement it. We believe the synergetic combination is significant for optimizing patient care at our first proton therapy center in the renowned medical practice area of Harley Street, London.”
TRAVEL and tourism businesses around the world are looking to capitalise on India’s double-digit annual growth in the outbound MICE and luxury travel segment, with the value of India’s business travel market expected to reach USD 93 billion by 2030, organisers of an industry event have said.
India has recently moved up two places to become the eighth largest business travel market in the world, and business travel spending in the country is projected to record a compound annual growth rate of 12 per cent through 2020, they said.
As India maintains its double-digit annual growth in the outbound meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) and luxury travel segment, travel and tourism businesses around the world are looking to capitalise on the country’s growth potential.
The MICE market refers to a niche of group tourism dedicated for planning, booking, and facilitating conferences, seminars, and other events.
Forging business opportunities and partnerships with leading Indian corporates and luxury travel specialists will be discussed at the 6th annual MICE India and Luxury Travel (MILT) Congress, the premier B2B event that caters to both the business travel and luxury tourism sectors in India.
Organised by Dubai-based QnA International, the MILT Congress will be held this year in Mumbai from July 25-26 and in Delhi from July 31-August 01.
By 2030, the value of India’s business travel market is expected to reach USD 93 billion, a statement released here said.
Noting that Indian corporates remain largely unaffected by the global slowdown and continue to spend big on corporate travel, Hassan Madah, Director, Israel Ministry of Tourism – India and the Philippines, said.
India is among the largest source markets for MICE tourism in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and the travel and hospitality companies in both the Emirates are looking to further expand their reach in the Indian market by taking advantage of the unique networking opportunities provided by MILT Congress 2018 with its high-profile buyer lineup.
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), meanwhile, has forecast that India will account for 50 million outbound tourists by 2020.
Business and luxury travel is expected to make up a significant share of the total volume of outbound travel, with one report indicating the country is on track to generating 6.5 million outbound luxury and MICE tourists annually by 2020.
Ackash Jain, Director, QnA International, said, “India has been maintaining an annual GDP growth rate of 6-8 per cent since 2013, and this strong economic momentum is rubbing off on the country’s outbound MICE and luxury travel sector, enabling these segments to post a double digit year- on-year growth”.
According to Jain, the rise of incentive travel, which has emerged as one of the fastest growing segments within India’s outbound business travel
market, is opening a new dimension of opportunities for travel and hospitality suppliers around the world.