Members and industry friends from SACEOS, Association of Boat Charter Singapore (ABCS), Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Singapore Chapter and SKAL Singapore came together for a wonderful time of networking and Christmas get-together on 4 December at HUONE Singapore. As the year comes to a close, the tourism and MICE industry has much to celebrate after a robust year of growth and recovery. While members came together to reflect on a successful and vibrant year, they shared a strong sense of optimism on the opportunities that lies ahead in 2024.

To explore how the use of technology can help address key areas of concern in operational efficiency and customer engagement, and customer experience, association and industry leaders engaged in an panel discussions to share their insights and perspectives. It was a truly insightful and inspiring session moderated by Andrew Chan, Founder & CEO of ACI HR Solution and featured Richard Ireland, President of SACEOS, Wong Soon-Hwa, Chairman of PATA Singapore Chapter, Quek Wee Teck, President of ABCS, as well as Ian Wu, President of SKAL Singapore.

Richard Ireland, President of SACEOS said, “Digitalisation is truly around how we improve our workflow and customer engagement. In the MICE industry, our customers’ key priority is driving engagement and generating leads. Therefore, there is a real impetus and need for our industry to leverage on technology to demonstrate the value of events and exhibitions. An important way to do that is to help customers quantify connections and engagements. We are seeing many new players who are providing nimble, agile and cost effective solutions for organisers to transform their event experience and achieve their outcomes. And as sustainability continues to be a key focus area and priority for the industry, there is an even greater need to utilise technology in measuring and reducing the environmental impact of events.”

Wong Soon-Hwa, Chairman of PATA Singapore Chapter said, “One of the key areas that the travel industry is looking at is to use technology to develop a common standard and uniformity to improve the experience and processes for travellers. Therefore, associations play a critical role in leading the way and bringing the industry together to explore the different digital solutions to help make travel a more seamless and painless process. Another area that technology such as AI can help the industry is in manpower. With travel back in full force, the industry is facing a manpower crunch. And AI could help to address the problem by automating processes. Having said that, as the industry becomes more high-tech, there is a need to remain high-touch with travellers.

Quek Wee Teck, President of ABCS said, “Many players in the Boat Charter industry are still in an early stage of their digital transformation journey. As the industry continues to grow, players are recognising the need to leverage on technology to better manage their database and improve the efficiency of business processes. Therefore, we are keen to explore new digital tools and learn from other industries in how to better engage our customers and improve the experience.

Ian Wu, President of SKAL Singapore said, “The rise of technology is going to empower many small businesses to transform and scale up. Importantly, technology such as AI will allow businesses in the industry to focus on what we are supposed to do – whether is it organising events or hospitality, rather than being bogged down by administrative and repetitive tasks which can be automated by tools such as AI.”

After the panel, attendees were treated to a sumptuous spread of dinner and drinks as they continued engaging in conversations and forging new connections with fellow industry peers. It was truly a wonderful night of coming together for the tourism and MICE community, and we certainly look forward to organising more Members Connect events in 2024. 

If you missed our events in 2023, do stay tuned for more events in the coming year by subscribing to us here or following us on Linkedin here!