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It’s that time again, when we look back at the agencies, the brands, the organizations, movements and trends that have shaped the past year. In 2020 – a year so many of us would like to forget – our industry of problem solvers proved time and again that they have what it takes to muck in, help out, ask questions, shape cultures and change the world. It is them that we celebrate in our New Year Honors.

 

The Covid-19 pandemic has decimated the tourism industry and recovery will take time as mass international travel will not return in any significant way any time soon. The pandemic has also irrevocably changed consumer behavior and spending patterns.

This means it is crucial that countries like Singapore work closely with its partner agencies and the industry to chart a new path forward for tourism, by transforming its businesses and building new capabilities.

These efforts have so far included helping dance club Zouk Singapore engage its fans by introducing its digital initiative Zouk Digital featuring daily live-streamed and pre-recorded content including personality interviews, cocktail classes, DJ sets, fitness sessions and gaming streams.

Another STB partner agency, the Wildlife Reserves Singapore, launched a ‘Hello from the Wild Side’ initiative that enables the public to engage with the animals virtually through video meetings with the ‘animal ambassadors‘ and interactive tours of the unique enclosures where participants can observe feeding and enrichment activities in real-time.

In July, STB together with Enterprise Singapore and Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) launched a domestic campaign, ‘SingapoRediscovers’, which aims to rally local support for Singapore’s tourism and lifestyle businesses.

The state-owned SDC tapped into the popularity of Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons by creating the first branded island on the game.

The idea is to give people in Singapore a virtual place to hang out as they continue to remain in lockdown as part of the country’s efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Players can register for one of the 36 free slots available each day to visit ‘Sentosa Crossing’. Attendees must have a subscription to the online game and answer the question the brand sets each week to be able to enter the island.

The game follows a series of virtual events and activities launched by Singapore‘s attraction island. People can take part in Sentosa Beats Party, a series of curated beats by DJs to bring the beach club experience to guests at home.

They can also take part in Sunset Therapy and Sentosa Cocktail Club, a tutorial series on Sentosa’s Instagram page. There will also be Virtual Yoga by the Beach that will be hosted on Sentosa’s Facebook page every Saturday.

“Through our virtual offerings, we would like to encourage everyone to make time for an ‘island getaway‘ during these challenging times, as a break is important for one’s mental wellbeing”, said Lynette Ang, the chief marketing officer at Sentosa Development Corporation.

“In addition, while exploring these leisure experiences, guests can also be inspired with ideas for future outings to Sentosa. We are planning to offer more novel leisure options for our guests and very much look forward to welcoming everyone back to The State of Fun again soon. Meanwhile, until we see you again, do stay home and stay safe.”

We’ll be celebrating all our favorite things about 2020 on thedrum.com between now and early January. Keep an eye on our New Year Honors hub to read more.