The Singapore Tourism Board has entered into a strategic partnership with Wongnai, a leading online lifestyle media company in Thailand, to bring attention to the island state’s diverse food offerings.
Under the agreement, Thai foodies will review and judge Singapore’s food through Wongnai’s online platform and app.
Given the easy air connections and geographical proximity of the two countries, many Thais are repeat visitors to Singapore, said Edward Koh, executive director, Southeast Asia, at the Singapore Tourism Board (STB). Many Singaporeans have also made repeat visits to Thailand. Sampling the local food is a major reason many Thais visit Singapore, Koh said.
“With this observation comes our invitation,” he said. “Singapore welcomes all Thai foodies to discover new flavours they have yet to experience. To excite and empower the foodies, we have launched our partnership with Wongnai, Thailand’s lifestyle media best known for its online food reviews.”
The partnership will bring Thai-language food reviews from across Singapore to Thai food-lovers, said Koh.
“Whether they visit Singapore for business or leisure, [visitors] will enjoy the gastronomic adventure that Singapore offers. There’s no place like this.” The newly created platforms by Wongnai include an online site rich with Singapore’s most recommended kitchens ready for Thai foodies to search, study and discover, said Yod Chinsupakul, company CEO and co-founder.
“Wongnai is committed to helping Thai food-lovers find the must-go places for great food and dining experiences. For years we have done well providing the most thorough reviews of restaurants in Thailand and now we are ready to do more. Singapore is our first international market. We are honoured to partner with the Singapore Tourism Board.” The campaigns created by Singapore Tourism Board in partnership with Wongnai will be released throughout the year.
Thai start-up HiveSters awarded in Booking.com accelerator contest
Thailand’s HiveSters is among 10 sustainable tourism start-ups to receive scaling grants from Booking.com as part of the tourism e-commerce company’s 2018 Booking Booster accelerator programme. HiveSters, a sustainable travel social enterprise and start-up won 100,000 euros (Bt3.8 million) in the competition following three weeks of workshops and intensive coaching sessions from start-up hopefuls, culminating in a final pitch to Booking.com employees and experts.
The winning start-ups will receive grants of up to 500,000 euros from Booking.com’s 2-million-euro fund in order to help support the next stage in their projected growth.
Indian start-ups Sakha Consulting Wings: Women on Wheels, and Global Himalayan Expedition, were awarded this year’s highest grants of 325,000 euros and 400,000 euros respectively. Sakha Consulting is a unique social enterprise, launched to offer safe transport solutions for women by women in selected cities in India, providing livelihoods with dignity through professional driving opportunities to resource-poor women as part of the “Women on Wheels” (WOW) initiative.
Global Himalaya Expedition (GHE) organises impact expeditions to provide clean energy and digital education access to the remote mountain communities in the Himalayas, helping to put them on the map for future travellers to explore.
The 10 start-ups that participated in the 2018 programme hail from six different countries and operate collectively across six continents, including Antarctica, said Booking.com in a press release. Their businesses also represent a diverse mix of innovative online marketplaces that connect travellers with inclusive travel experiences, cutting-edge technology solutions and initiatives that empower local communities to benefit more equally from the global tourism opportunity. The other winners include Community Homestay Network (Nepal) awarded 225,000 euros, Keteka (United States) awarded 275,000 euros, and Wheel the World (United States) awarded 275,000 euros.
HiveSters (Thailand), Hotel Con Corazon (Netherlands), KITRO (Switzerland), Reflow (Netherlands) and Tastemakers (United States) each received grants of 100,000 euros.
All participating start-ups will receive 12 months of ongoing mentoring and coaching from a strategic mix of Booking.com experts representing all parts of the business, said the release. They will also have opportunities to collaborate with Booking.com on potential innovation initiatives and experiments to help accelerate their future growth. Amazon Web Services (AWS) will also offer each finalist the possibility to benefit from its start-ups programme, AWS Activate.
Noble’s proposed Bt1.5-bn issue gets BBB- from TRIS
TRIS Rating has affirmed the company rating for Noble Development Plc (NOBLE) at “BBB” and also the rating for Noble’s senior unsecured debentures at “BBB-”.
At the same time, TRIS Rating assigned the rating of “BBB-” to Noble’s proposed issue of up to Bt1.5 billion in senior unsecured debentures due within three years. The proceeds from the new debentures will be used to repay some of its existing debentures.
The ratings take into consideration the company’s well-accepted brand name in the middle to high-end segments of the condominium market, its large backlog that partly secures its future revenue stream, and its relatively high financial leverage. The ratings are also factored in the high level of household debt nationwide, coupled with the rising competition in the high-priced condominium segment which may impact demand in the middle to high-end residential property market in the short- to medium-term.