Singapore offers real value despite labour issue

Low manpower supply but much to experience



At a recent Tourism Industry Conference in Singapore, the chief executive of the country’s tourism board, Lionel Yeo, said that factors driving tourism demand were “healthy”. Singapore is not a low-cost destination, he admitted, but visitors get real value from stays there.

The Singapore Tourism Board would be working even more closely with partners to strengthen this value, he said.

Among new initiatives: An attractions experience development program, details to come in the second quarter of 2014, aimed at making Singapore’s tourism attractions providers of experiences; a knowledge bank full of best practices on how hotels can make do with less manpower, to be available on the board’s corporate website soon; a study on improvement opportunities for hotel operations, to be completed by the third quarter of this year; and a hotel industry expert panel to chart a hotel manpower roadmap.

High prices and low manpower supply remain problems for Singapore’s tourism industry. Yeo described an “aspiration mismatch” between career-seekers and jobs in the tourism industry. Less than 30% of jobs in the industry are PMET jobs (professionals, managers, executives and technicians), yet more than 60% of job-seekers by 2020 would want PMET jobs, he said.

Michael Ma, an entrepreneur behind IndoChine House, said that coming up with exciting dining or entertainment ideas to enhance the tourism product was not an issue at all. The problem is manpower.

“It’s tough to expand the business. We have a new site at Tanjong Katong. We couldn’t do anything there. We didn’t have enough manpower. We own the building but I’ve never opened it. We don’t even have manpower now to cover [existing operations] so how could you expand?” he said.

“We’ve been talking about this for a long time. I’ve a restaurant in Germany and the staff there go through three years of training – it’s a profession and the pay is high. Singaporeans really don’t want to do this job, really they don’t. You advertise and get 500 applicants. I would say 50 would be from Singaporeans. May be 25 would turn up for the interview and at least 60% want to be managers straightaway.”

TTG Asia

[pictured: Rooftop pool, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore; courtesy Marina Bay Sands]


Check Also

(DK) Short term contract A330 First Officers – Air Greenland

Air Greenland is hiring A330 First Officers.  Minimum requirements:  EASA FCL- Pilot License ATPL or ...

Paris, France, Spain, flights, cancel, strike, rail, train, March, unions, travel

Strikes hit travel to, in and above France

Air and rail services are being disrupted by a series of planned walkouts, and flights to Spain and other countries are affected too.

CPH, copenhagen, Greenland, airport, strike, ATC, air traffic control, union, weather, Denmark

Strike may hit air travel in Denmark

If agreement can’t be reached, flights may not be able to land in Denmark or in Danish territories.

(DK) Creative Project Manager – Events and Meetings

Each year Egencia helps thousands of companies in over 60 markets better lead their travel ...

Avinor, environment, biofuel, electric, aviation, planes, aircraft, future, forests, Norway, conference, Oslo, Bergen, airports, supply, hybrid

Norway spotlights biofuels and electric planes

A conference in Oslo today brings together expertise to ponder problems and solutions.

Thailand, slowdown, tourism, travel, trends, Europe, Asia, overtourism, crowds, marketing, DMC, tour operators, travel agencies, opinion

Thailand sees “slowdown” in Europe bookings

There appears to be fatigue in the European market for Thailand, while other destinations are benefiting.