The Singapore Tourism Board is looking into chatbots to answer tourists’ questions, GovInsider can reveal.

An “area of work is on chatbots”, Quek Choon Yang, CTO of STB, told GovInsider. “This is a very hot area within the technology industry now. So we are also looking at whether we could use some of these types of technologies to get very basic simple queries answered,” he said.

The project is at an “exploratory” stage, Quek said. “Would visitors be open to chatting with a robot to get basic directions and opening hours, and so on?”, he asks. “We don’t know, and the best way to do that is for STB to take the lead and try that out because it’s high risk.”

Quek believes that younger tourists are more likely to be open to the idea of using chatbots.

Once the tech has been tested internally and proven, the government will work with the industry to deploy the technology publicly.

“When it’s proven that most visitors or certain segments are open to these types of concepts, then we can work on competency building saying, ‘How do you integrate these things into your websites and apps?’,” Quek said.

The chatbots project is at an exploratory stage, and one of many cutting-edge pilots being planned by STB’s Tech Exploration department. Read our full interview next Monday to find out more about the other schemes that Singapore is using to pioneer tech-led tourism.

Image by Erwin Soo; CC BY 2.0