Ladies and gentlemen,
1. Thank you for inviting me to the Opening Ceremony of the Food & Hotel Asia (FHA) Hotel, Restaurant and Café or HoReCa 2022.
Excited to be back after attending the FHA-Food & Beverage (F&B) just last month! Great to see many familiar faces again.
2. This is the first year Informa Markets is multiplying its FHA trade show into two dedicated events – F&B and HoReCa.
a. Last month, we witnessed the largest gathering of F&B manufacturers and emerging brands in a single platform. Over 57,000 individuals attended FHA-F&B.
b. Over these four days at FHA-HoReCa, we will see over 800 of the world’s leading food services and hospitality equipment suppliers host more than 25,000 attendees from over 30 countries.
c. Having FHA as two dedicated trade shows demonstrates the growing interest in the sector, and the vibrancy of Singapore’s F&B and hospitality landscape.
Singapore continues to remain open and be recognised as the preferred MICE destination
3. We have made a strong recovery in the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE), what I’d prefer to call Business Events and Exhibitions (BEEs) and other large-scale tourism events.
a. Just a few weeks ago, Singapore hosted F1 Singapore Grand Prix with 302,000 attendees.
b. Singapore continues to be the gateway for businesses to meet and access the region.
Last week, I attended many world-class international events held here:
- Industrial Transformation Asia Pacific (ITAP)
- ITB Asia
- gamescom asia
- DOTA 2 The International
- Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific
And we’re just getting started.
In the next few days and weeks, we are hosting other big international events:
- Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW)
- Singapore Week of Innovation & Technology (SWITCH)
- Singapore Fintech Festival (SFF)
- Singapore Media Festival
These events bring the world to Singapore, and Singapore to the world. They bring people together to network, exchange ideas and build new business opportunities.
And as people come to Singapore, they get to stay in our many world class hotels.
Importance of the hotel industry
4. Indeed, our hotel industry has been a key pillar of Singapore’s tourism growth. Let me share a few interesting data points:
a. Pre-COVID, Singapore had a record high of ~S$28B in Tourism Receipts and ~19M International Visitor Arrivals (IVA).
b. Historically, our hotel industry has contributed over 20% of our total tourism receipts.
c. In 2019, our hotel industry accounted for over 400 enterprises and employed more than 34,000 workers.
d. Our hotel industry also topped other competitor destinations in Asia in terms of average productivity from 2015 to 2019 .
Hotels remained resilient during the COVID-19 pandemic
5. However, COVID-19 severely affected the tourism sector.
a. This hotel industry in particular, battled waves of disruptions during COVID.
b. Yet many pressed on and transformed. They served as government isolation facilities and curated novel staycation packages for locals, to cope with revenue loss from international travel.
6. To our hotels industry family, Singapore’s strong recovery is due to your continued resilience, adaptability and innovation. Thank you for soldiering on and helping us fight COVID-19 together. It’s been an honour journeying alongside you the past two years.
Launch of the refreshed Hotel Industry Transformation Map (ITM)
7. Now, we look ahead.
a. Our hotel industry has progressed well since we launched our first Hotel Industry Transformation Map (ITM) launched six years ago.
b. Hotels have transformed business models, quickly adopted tech and restructured your workforce.
c. You exceeded our ITM target by 2019. And we’re ready to set our sights toward the future. hotel industry has made good progress since the first Hotel Industry Transformation Map (ITM) launched six years ago.
a. The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has been working with relevant agencies and industry partners to refresh our Hotel Industry ITM.
b. Special mention must go to my colleague Minister of State Low Yen Ling, and President of Restaurant Association of Singapore & Group Managing Director of Commonwealth Capital Group, Mr Andrew Kwan, for leading the transformation efforts of the hotel industry as co-chairs of the Future Economic Council Lifestyle Cluster.
c. Many thanks also to Wei-Lin and Singapore Hotel Association (SHA) for supporting and contributing to Hotel ITM 2025.
9. We expect tourism to continue to recover with pent-up travel demand, and a full recovery by mid 2020s.
a. At the end of this year, we expect to reach the higher end of our forecast of between 4-6M International Visitor Arrival (IVA), and tourism receipts of between S$10-S$12B.
b. While still a fraction of pre-COVID figures, these are signs we are moving in the right direction.
10. Today, I am proud to launch the refreshed Hotel ITM 2025. With it, we expect our hotel industry value-add to have a real Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 5.9% by 2025.
This Hotel ITM 2025 has 4 key strategies
Capturing demand with fresh hotel concepts
11. First, we will reinvent and rejuvenate the hotel industry, with new concepts and business models that tap on global tourism trends.
a. New hotel developments in key tourism precincts will offer concepts that enhance Singapore’s destination appeal.
b. We will also catalyse cross-sector collaborations to unlock new revenue streams beyond traditional room and F&B revenue.
c. For example, InterContinental Singapore, worked with hospitality startup, DayAway, an online platform that allows users to browse, and book curated daytime experiences at Singapore’s top hotels.
• This provided hotels an extra source of revenue by opening under-utilised spaces such as spa, gym, and MICE facilities to non-staying guests.
• We hope to see more of such partnerships emerging.
Driving sustainability as core strategy
12. Second, we will develop sustainability as a new core strategy to address increasing consumer awareness and interest in climate change.
a. This is both a key growth engine for businesses, and a competitive advantage to enhance industry resilience and enhance Singapore’s attractiveness as a destination.
b. This is also in line with the Hotel Sustainability Roadmap that I had the honour of launching with STB and SHA back in March.
c. We will help our hotels
- adopt internationally recognised sustainability standards
- pilot and scale sustainability solutions as they manage their energy, water, waste and carbon
- develop sustainability-centric hotel concepts
- promote sustainable consumption habits amongst guests.
13. Many hotels here are already going green.
a. Pan Pacific Hotel Group’s upcoming 350-room Pan Pacific Orchard will be an iconic low-waste hotel. It will house four sky gardens, a rainwater-harvesting system, a recyclable water system, energy-efficient tech, and a compactor that transforms food waste into nutrient water for the sky gardens.
Gearing up for the next phase of innovation
14. We talked about (1) designing new business models and (2) sustainability. Our third strategy in the Hotel ITM 2025 is tech focused. We will help our hotels adopt proven and impactful tech solutions.
a. We will progress beyond adopting standalone tech solutions, to the next level, where hotels integrate front- of-house and back-of-house systems with data analytics.
b. To do this, we will grow the digital and data capabilities of our hotels and workforce to help our hotels become smarter and leaner.
15. But don’t take my word for it. Seeing is believing!
In fact there are two feature areas at HoReCa – Hospitality 4.0 Experience Zone and Hospitality Startup Village – which reinforce our Government’s industry transformation efforts.
a. For the first time, the Hospitality 4.0 Experience Zone will gather solution providers and showcase innovative solutions like cooking robots to advanced housekeeping solutions to modern ordering systems. These will transform how hotels, restaurants and kitchens operate.
b. The Hospitality Startup Village allows young startups to showcase their new disruptive tech to transform our hospitality industry.
16. We also have Hotel Innovation Challenge Asia (HICA) - which uses innovation to help industry fix problems and find new opportunities to grow. The inaugural HICA attracted over 100 submissions through a new partnership model between SHA, FHA and STB.
a. These include voice enabled service robots and vending machines, and a food waste management system that recycles food waste into reusable resources without reducing its nutrient content.
b. All the best to the 8 shortlisted finalists later this afternoon!
Future-proofing the workforce
17. We talked about business models, sustainability and tech. But our fourth and final Hotels ITM 2025 strategy is the most important. Because it centres around our most precious resource - our people!
We will do more to help our people take on the hospitality jobs of the future, but redesigning jobs, and helping them pick up new skills.
We want to attract more people to take on tourism and hospitality careers, as new and exciting offerings emerge. So it doesn’t matter when you join the industry, you’ll have a fun and exciting career with plenty of progression!
18. We will uplift our people and redesign rank-and-file roles through Workforce Singapore’s Job Redesign Place and Train programme.
a. For instance, 60 Raffles Hotel Singapore’s employees from departments including butler, culinary, engineering, F&B service, housekeeping and security were trained and upskilled to take on enhanced job roles.
19. We will enhance Human Capital practices to make hotel careers more attractive. We will also invest in good jobs and skills to support emerging areas such as wellness, sustainability and tech.
a. Workers can learn and use transferable skills they have picked up such as in Stakeholder and Change Management, to move into these roles. They can also build new skills in areas such as Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), Sustainability Management and Reporting.
20. We will also strengthen local pipeline by priming young talents to join the industry, and groom our local talents to take on more senior positions.
21. So we have much to do. And we are just getting started, after the challenges of the past two years. We have learnt plenty from the past and we have our eyes firmly set on the future.
22. And we have a plan to do just that, to build a resilient, innovative and exciting hotel industry.
23. I wish you a productive time at FHA-HoReCa. Thank you.