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Three Key Cross-Industry Developments Across Singapore's Technology and Hospitality Sectors

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Deepika Chandrasekar Bio

Against the backdrop of consumers’ fast-growing disposable incomes and their desire for quality experiences like travel in this era, Singapore continues to be a growing tourist destination. Not only is Singapore witnessing more international tourist arrivals, but also sees higher visitor spending by its largest source markets. According to Euromonitor International, Singapore registered around 18.9 million inbound arrivals in 2018 ranking 6th in Asia Pacific and recording a 6.6% growth rate from 2017. Some factors that can be attributed to this performance are the government’s strong commitment towards promoting the country’s tourism, growing flight connectivity, and state-of-the-art technology. The hospitality sector for one, is increasingly seeing technology-enabling solutions that pave the way for higher productivity and guest satisfaction as seen in the below industry developments.

Singapore’s hospitality sector benefits from Industry 4.0

Euromonitor shows Singapore’s lodging industry to have grown at 1.9% in value sales terms in 2018 due to the growing influx of tourists. This could have contributed to the fact that hotel productivity in Singapore was at 4.4% from 2013 to 2018, compared to retail productivity being only 3.2% and food and beverage productivity falling below 2% in the same period according to the Singapore Productivity Centre.

The hospitality industry can be said to have benefitted from Industry 4.0’s central idea of autonomous concepts and the Internet of Things. While Industry 1.0 was about mechanisation, Industry 2.0 revolved around the assembly line, and Industry 3.0 was based on computerisation, Industry 4.0 is all about taking computerisation to the next level and with an emphasis on automation. The key drivers of Industry 4.0 that also fuel the hospitality industry are the rise in data volume and computational power, data analytics, human-machine interaction (such as smart devices), as well as the innovative transference of digital instructions such as 3D printing.

Philips IoT platform to enhance Singapore hospitality’s efficiency

Two key pain points that persist in Singapore are costs as well as customer service/experience. To tackle that, Philips recently launched an open-source yet secure Internet of Things (IoT) platform called Interact, with a specific arm for hotels called Interact Hospitality. With the seamless integration between the Interact Hospitality software and the smart Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting in hotels, a singular intuitive dashboard makes real-time guest experience tracking possible. This innovation is aimed at providing three main advantages to the hospitality sector: enhanced guest experience, improved staff productivity, and energy-efficient systems. It is not surprising that the hospitality sector is leveraging on LED lighting given that in Singapore LED lamps grew at a strong 10% in value sales terms in 2018 according to Euromonitor.

One such lighting system for hotel rooms introduced by Philips is the natural wake-up solution for guests by mimicking a full 45-minute sunrise routine with a gradually increasing intensity of light. This is supposed to be less intense on the eyes and also make guests wake up feeling refreshed. Another state-of-the-art lighting technology is the bio-adaptive light by the bed that senses guest movement and gets activated to lead the guest in darkness. In addition to these innovations, Philips has also incorporated the automatic activation of light and temperature control when guests first enter their room as well as the different lighting options for various moods like relax, work, sleep, etc.

Tapendium: A transformative digital solution for premium hotels?

Tapendium, which is a cloud-based e-concierge solution partner of Samsung, could be a potential solution for upscale hotels. Having already been implemented in the lavish Fullerton hotel, this hospitality solution is meant to provide a simplified yet interactive guest experience and, in turn, boost loyalty. With the Tapendium software sitting in Samsung tablets placed in hotel rooms, it enables the hotel staff to send customised communication and tailored services to every individual tablet through a central content management system. Some of the perks of this single integrated system include increasing staff efficiency, higher revenue, guest recognition, strategic marketing, and interactive guest experiences. Although immensely promising, this wireless networked room of the future solution may be too expensive for the mass majority and is likely to be introduced only in high-end hotels.

Evidently, the future of Singapore’s hospitality industry looks to be one that is at the forefront of technology, with all things integrated and guest-friendly. Even if hotels do not deploy such futuristic technology, it is indispensable to incorporate digital solutions to improve in-room guest experience.

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