Working in Market - Singapore
See how to work in Singapore, one of Tourism Australia's key markets, and learn key insights into the various travel distribution channels.
Online bookings are growing rapidly in Singapore as airlines and retail agencies expand their online presence for both group and Free Independent Travel (FIT) segments. Consumers in Singapore are value-conscious and actively seek destination information and deals before making travel purchases.
Wholesalers/ Large Agents
Commission Level: 10% - 15%
- The traditional wholesaler model does not apply in Singapore. Large retail agencies brochure and market their own programs with links to inbound tour operators (ITOs).
- Large travel agencies such as Chan Brothers and Commonwealth Travel take reservations from consumers through their own retail network. Some also take reservations from smaller travel agencies which have limited access to ITOs and do not undertake consumer advertising.
Commission Level: up to 10%
- As at Jan 2022, there are approximately 909 “active” travel agencies registered with the Singapore Tourism Board, meaning they hold licenses. But many may be dormant or downsized due the pandemic. Around 100 of these sell Australian products and packages. Around 20 key agencies partner with Tourism Australia and State and Territory Tourism Organisations (STOs) in marketing campaigns.
- The Aussie Specialist Program (ASP) is the primary platform for Tourism Australia to train and develop front line travel sellers to best sell Australia.
- As at Dec 2021, there were 338 qualified Aussie Specialist agents in Singapore
- Major Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) are growing their presence in Singapore. Evolving technical capabilities such as dynamic packaging and online group booking, are helping to drive significant growth in bookings made through OTAs and even travel search sites.
- Key OTAs and metasearch engines include CheapTickets.sg, Expedia, Zuji, Flight Centre, Chan Brothers, Agoda, Skyscanner, TripZilla and Klook.
Inbound Tour Operators
Commission Level: up to 30%
- ITOs remain an important element of the distribution network in the Singapore market.
- Singaporeans are increasingly comfortable with booking holidays online either through an airline, an Online Travel Agency (OTA) or a traditional travel agent that has a strong online presence. Some travellers still complete their travel purchase with a retail travel agent, due to exclusive airline offers and the need to plan complicated itineraries.
- Low cost carriers have added competitive stimulus to the market, with traditional carriers responding with aggressive pricing strategies, offering promotional fares with longer travel period validity.
- Airlines and large travel agencies continue to be proactive in establishing websites and online services. The trend is growing fast as agencies understand they must have a stronger presence anywhere consumers are purchasing travel.
- Major consumer travel fairs are organised by the National Association of Travel Agents (NATAS) and the Singapore Outbound Travel Agents Association (SOTAA), usually occurring in February/March and August/September. They are organised individually by the larger travel agencies or on a consortia basis for medium to small agencies.
Planning and purchasing travel
- Singapore is a mature market and consumers have a solid knowledge of Australia. The Free and Independent Traveller (FIT) segment continues to grow rapidly.
- Consumers in Singapore are value conscious and actively review a range of destinations and information sources, seeking favourable deals before making travel purchases.
- There are a significant number of consumers who will purchase airfares directly from airlines and then secure ground arrangements from either an OTA or a retail agent.
- Travel search engines are important information sources for consumers as they expand search options beyond flights and hotels to packages and car hire. These travel search engines are also partnering with user-review sites and affiliating content to major internet portals and media sites.
Planning a visit to market
Top tips for sales calls
- To develop an ongoing relationship with Singaporean agents, plan for meetings between two to four times per year. These meetings can be a combination of market visits and trade event attendance.
- Tourism Australia and most State and Territory Tourism Organisations are located together in Singapore. Make your first call to the Tourism Australia office to receive the latest market information and to provide a product update.
- Singapore is a small country and major agents are often clustered in close proximity to each other so you can easily make numerous sales calls in one day.
- Avoid sales calls in the lead up to peak booking periods as agents are often heavily involved in consumer fairs and unable to meet you due to heavy workloads.
- The best time of the year for sales calls, contracting and product inclusions in new season launches is January. June is best for rate negotiation. October to December is useful for relevant product updates and planning for the next calendar year.
- For more general information on sales calls and planning a visit to market, please see Tourism Australia’s Tourism Export Toolkit.
Key Distribution Partners
Tourism Australia is a partnership marketing organisation and works closely with airlines and travel companies on cooperative marketing to drive conversion in all priority markets.
These targeted travel companies, including wholesalers, retail and online travel agencies, form Tourism Australia’s Key Distribution Partner (KDP) program with the intention to increase total booking value of visitors to Australia.
Each KDP is selected based on the fit with Tourism Australia’s market strategy, a shared target customer profile, shared funding of marketing activity, a commitment to training their frontline sales team through the Aussie Specialist Program and a commitment to selling quality Australian product and experiences.
Below are a selection of Key Distribution Partners that Tourism Australia is partnering with from Singapore.
Where to find more information
Tourism Australia’s activities in Singapore are managed from its Singapore office.
Australian State and Territory Tourism Organisations operating in Singapore include: Destination NSW, South Australian Tourism Commission, Tourism and Events Queensland, Tourism NT, Tourism Tasmania, Tourism Victoria, and Tourism Western Australia.
- An overview on the travel distribution system
- A quick reference on key booking and travel periods for markets
- Singapore Country Brief published by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade at www.dfat.gov.au/geo/singapore
- For additional statistical reports refer to the ABS and TRA websites, www.abs.gov.au and www.tra.gov.au