Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Let volunteer guides and concierges show Singapore's best to IR visitors

SINGAPORE is counting down to the opening of two integrated resorts (IRs) next year.

The IRs are superb structures and would be a major attraction for tourists and celebrities from around the world.

However, the standards of service and English-language proficiency among Singaporeans leave much to be desired.

The documentary film, Mad About English, depicted a campaign run by the Chinese government to get Beijing residents to learn English ahead of last year's Olympics.

A similar one could be launched here, with a focus on inculcating courtesy and social graces.

It could start with taxi drivers, so that they could greet passengers and speak in proper English when they pick up fares at the airport.

Cabbies should also be familiar with places of interest, including popular restaurants.

Trained volunteers and concierges should be stationed at attractions such as museums, cultural centres and places of worship.

They could guide tourists and explain the history and significance of the attractions.

Meanwhile, coffee-shop owners should get their act together by ensuring the toilets in their premises are spotless so that visitors would have a good impression of Singapore.

Innovative advertising campaigns for the IRs could also be conceptualised.

The Singapore Tourism Board could put some thought into running such campaigns.
Mr Melvin Lee Tiong Choon

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