Noel D'souza
Apr 14, 2023

Want to entice brand recall for young consumers looking for their next holiday destination: GB Srithar, Singapore Tourism Board

GB Srithar, regional director, India, Middle East and South Asia and Juliana Kua, assistant CEO, international group, Singapore Tourism Board, shared intel about their second partnership with LBB, marketing plans and more…

Juliana Kua (left) and GB Srithar
Juliana Kua (left) and GB Srithar

On 13 April, Singapore Tourism Board announced its partnership with Little Black Book (LBB) to create #SingaporeInspired.


This is the tourism company's second association with LBB. The duo joined hands for the Singapore Edit Festival in 2022. 


With this collaboration, Singapore Tourism Board aims to entice young consumers in the Indian market and overseas to initiate brand recall. 


This time around, the brands Chumbak, RSVP by Nykaa, and The Souled Store worked with Singapore Tourism Board and LBB to curate a line of accessories and clothing that showcases Singapore in a different light to potential Indian tourists. 


We caught up with GB Srithar, regional director, India, Middle East and South Asia, Singapore Tourism Board and Juliana Kua, assistant CEO, international group, Singapore Tourism Board, to discuss marketing plans, objectives behind its second partnership with LBB, and their measures to promote Singapore as a tourist destination.


Edited excerpts: 


What is the marketing plan for Singapore Tourism Board's latest collaboration with Little Black Book and what can consumers expect from the launch of #SingaporeInspired?


Srithar: Under the crust of connecting with the early career audience in India, this business synergy with LBB was potent. This is the second time we are partnering with LBB and we are very excited to see the outcome of this association. We aim to capture new audiences with this marketing initiative.


Our goal was to give the target audience a push to visit the country. Through the collections, we want to entice brand recall for young consumers looking for their next holiday destination. Retail is such a huge market in the online space and we wanted to launch a #SingaporeInspired collection to establish our presence in the markets we wanted to target. 


How did the Singapore Tourism Board partner with The Souled Store, Chumbak and RSVP by Nykaa to create this collection?


Srithar: LBB was a key player in selecting and recommending these brands to us for the #SingaporeInspired collection. The brands have a new-age approach regarding the designs that they have curated for this partnership. Working with these brands aligned with our approach and create a perfect synergy. 


Kua: One of the factors that the Singapore Tourism Board is trying to push is not just traditional shopping experiences in Singapore but spreading awareness about new brands in the country as well. With LBB too we wanted to inculcate this idea of taking homegrown designs globally. The #SingaporeInspired is an amalgamation of not just Singapore's traditional culture but also features a new interpretation of the country's local culture. 


How will this collaboration help promote tourism?


Kua: If tourists are looking for clothes and accessories that they won’t get anywhere else globally, this collection will strike brand recall. As these pieces will only be found in Singapore. Our collaboration aims to remind customers visiting Singapore that this collection is something that they will only be able to buy in this country and will be able to associate with their travel memories. 


What are the key factors that determine a push to partner with brands?


Srithar: When partnering with a brand we are looking for strategic alignment in the form of creative, out there and distinctive products that the brands can curate. We are also vetting brands that connect with the key target audiences we want to reach out to in a way that is in sync with how we are promoting tourism. Lastly, they must have the right reach across the Indian market. The brands that we have partnered with for #SingaporeTourism have their presence in the right markets we want to establish our presence in. 


One perception is that Singapore is far more expensive than the other holiday destinations in the region. Would that be correct and is that a disadvantage?


Kua: We recognise that we are not the cheapest destination globally when it comes to tourism. But with that being said, we still have unique offerings for tourists and provide great value for them. There are still a lot of alternatives that tourists can choose from that are free of charge. Hawker food is also famous in the country and is affordable for tourists. 


Srithar: There is an array of options which are both expensive and some that won’t burn a hole in the pockets of tourists. Mainly Singapore’s USP is its holistic experiential activities. 


After the pandemic, how did Singapore recover as a tourist market? What are the kind of numbers in terms of travellers from India? Which country is the biggest market for tourists to Singapore? 


Kua: Last year we set a target of about 6 million tourists and are happy that we were able to exceed our anticipated reach. This year, we are ambitious with our targets and hoping to reach 12-14 million tourists. We aim to at least meet if not exceed the targets. When it comes to the Indian market we have seen positive growth when it comes to recovery rates after the pandemic. 


Srithar: From India, we recorded 6.86 lakh tourists which made the country the second-largest source market after Indonesia. Thus concerning India, in the coming months we hope to see an upwards trajectory. 


What are some of the challenges that the Singapore Tourism Board faces in marketing Singapore as a tourist destination, and how do you address them?


Kua: Tourism is a competitive business. The challenge in this industry is to stand out from the clutter. To break this clutter, we want to bring our messaging across to our target audience through innovative marketing campaigns. Hence, through our partnership with LBB, we aim to give potential tourists a sneak peek of the country and stand out from the rest. 


Srithar: For India, there are still undiscovered factors that potential tourists aren’t aware of when it comes to Singapore. Hence to communicate these undiscovered facts our goal is to reach out to audiences on platforms that will provide us with high engagement value. We want to create refreshed properties for the Indian audience to market Singapore tourism. 

Campaign India

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