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Alibaba Cloud and SACEOS set sights on Singapore’s hospitality industry

Alibaba Cloud and the Singapore Association of Convention & Exhibition Organisers & Suppliers (SACEOS) have entered into a partnership to improve Singapore's hospitality industry with AI and cloud technologies.

At the Singapore MICE Forum 2019 (SMF 2019) the pair signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote upskilling and technology collaborations to keep Singapore as top MICE destination in Asia.

The agreement will see the two parties work together to offer trainings and technologies collaborations in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI), big data, and cloud.

Singapore is a top Asian destination for meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) industry, however this space is increasingly competitive.

MICE visitors make up 15% of arrivals in Singapore and 22% of spending in H1 2018, with tourism receipts from MICE growing by 10% in 2018 and a 14% increase in MICE visitors as compared to the same period in 2017, according to a statement from the companies.

The city was also ranked as the top Asian city for meetings by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) for 16 consecutive years and named the Top Asia Pacific Destination for the third consecutive year in Cvent's rankings of Top Meeting Destinations in Asia Pacific for 2018.

As part of the collaboration, SACEOS and its members will examine the use of Alibaba Cloud data intelligence solutions.

SACEOS and Alibaba Cloud will also explore hosting training and workshops to equip SACEOS members with the technology competencies to improve operations.

Alibaba Cloud will also connect Singapore hospitability industries with Alibaba ecosystem and potential Chinese customers to drive arrivals and spending.

SACEOS president and SingEx Holdings CEO, Aloysius Arlando says, “Singapore's continued success as a business events and meetings destination is not just a product of the world-class infrastructure, connectivity and attractions.”

“Our industry is relentless in our collaborations to provide world class and differentiated business events to make Singapore the Global Asia Node in the region. We are confident that this partnership will create even more opportunities for Singapore to stay ahead of the competition through adoption of leading technologies,” says Arlando.

Alibaba Cloud general manager Singapore Derek Wang says, “As the global leader in data intelligence, we understand the opportunities technologies can create for MICE industry. Our partnership with SACEOS is an extension of our partnership with hospitality and tourism sectors of Singapore as a whole.

“We will work closely with SACEOS and its members to demonstrate real world examples on how technology innovations can not only improve the industry's digital transformation, but also bottom lines as well.”

As part of the agreement, Alibaba Cloud will share its technology knowledge in data intelligence to deliver high-traffic events, and consider further innovations together with the industry such as NLP, big data and cloud technology.

AI technologies like Natural Language Processing (NLP) solutions from machine translation, speech-to-text, and text-to-speech, which can overcome communication barriers where event guests may be more fluent and comfortable with their native language.

Chatbots can also provide 24/7 online support and deliver information in natural language to support customer service.

Big Data solutions can help the industry to discover patterns and recognise opportunities, the companies say. The MICE industry can utilise Alibaba Cloud's data analytics ability to transform data into actionable insights and create innovations for the industry, such as more personalised services and targeted marketing.

Alibaba Cloud data visualisation tools already in use at major business events and airports can help meeting organisers with crowd management and safety.

Cloud technology like live video broadcasting and video-on-demand solutions enables low latency and high concurrent broadcasting of events to viewers. Alibaba Cloud's Video AI solution automatically identifies the ‘best’ moments during a broadcast to produce instant replays and highlights.

With Alibaba Cloud's Mini Program Cloud, Singapore hospitality industries like event organisers, hotels and resorts, restaurants and retail companies can easily build and launch mini programs into Alibaba ecosystem connecting with millions of Chinese visitors to Singapore.

Alibaba Cloud is also working closely with hospitality industries in Singapore for leisure travelers. In April 2019, as part of a three-year Alibaba ecosystem-wide MOU with the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), Alibaba Cloud is partnering with STB and the tourism industry to create smart tourism experiences for inbound Chinese travellers.