Singapore’s Government putting S$90million to boost Tourism?!

12 02 2009

Dear readers, i believe you’ve read about how our government is taking measures to help Singaporeans cope in the current economy.

Here’s a little insight to our fall in Tourism rates:

“Singapore has projected 9.5 million arrivals in 2009, a drop from the 10.1 million in 2008. Tourism spending is expected to fall to S$12.5 billion (US$8.3 billion), from S$14.8 billion (US$9.8 billion) last year. — CNA /ls”

So is the S$90m proposed incentive going to help us recover the S$2.3 billion that we expect to lose?!

*Disclaimer: Before i start, i’ll like to state that, i was a Hospitality and Tourism Student from a reputable polytechnic, so whenever there’s anything linking to tourism or wine and dine, it keeps my itchy fingers and mind moving! You may agree or disagree to my views and perspective, but it’s just my personal view on the whole situation:) You can always leave some comments if you have anything to discuss:)

Firstly, there’s something we can debate about here. Why not before we think of whether the S$90m could help to minimize the loss we expect this year, let’s think about the factors why people travel?!

I travel because:

  1. Cheap
  2. Something to represent a country’s charm
  3. An experience we don’t get in our own country or other countries
  4. Smiles/ Service

Ok, let’s just debate on the 4 points i’ve gathered and look into what the government has done throughout the years that some may agree or disagree. Speaking of which, when it come to dining or purchasing items, do you realize that you’re paying more then what you see or expect? GST, SERVICE CHARGE!!! Are they really getting too much for you to absorb?! Well, that’s what is happening now… a decent meal that cost S$25 dollars may go up to S$27 just because of taxes! Can you imagine the amount of money we have to “swallow” so is it really the best idea?! Look at our Hawkers, in the past, we can easily get a Roti Prata for 50 cents, now, it’s at least 60 cents or some even higher, is inflation really hitting us that badly?! Everything’s rising, but our salary remains constant… The few hundred dollars we get from the government for our GST offsets, are they really that sufficient?! Or is there any alternative to boost spending power? Well, that is something for the higher authority to ponder upon.

Next, let us look at Singapore, a place where one could see people of different ethnic groups and background coming together as one. Let’s put it this way, it’s something that we are very proud of and of course most of the credit goes to our MM Lee who fought so hard for racial equality. So that’s probably the only unique thing about us?! Lets take a look at the Singapore Expo, supposedly a place where most exhibitions are held, don’t you think the architecture of the entire building is like a FACTORY?! is a exhibition hall suppose to be like that?!

Let’s take a look at Kuala Lumpur’s Convention Exhibition Centre and compare to our dearest Singapore Expo.

Singpapore Expo kl1

Singapore Expo VS Kuala Lumpur Convention Exhibition Centre

Take a look at the Architecture, judge for yourself. i’m not citing the rest nor do i want to put ourselves down. But, we seriously have to think of something more interesting..

So is something that will represent our country’s charm suppose to be Little India? Chinatown? Kampong Glam or what?! Do you think it’s really a representation of Singapore’s history?! Or rather, are those places really that unique?! Maybe Yes, Maybe No… It’s all up to us to decide.

Next, i’ll probably link the point about Service and Experience we have. Well, in Singapore, no matter how hard we push for service quality or make our service staff go for courses such as GEMS, is it really sufficient?! Or do they just act polite and courteous when they are in their uniform and remove the “MASK” when they are off duty?! Well, apparently, that is what’s happening… Just let us look at the commuters who uses the train, many of them are executive that are either white or blue- collared workers, they should have a minimal educational background or at least come from families that teach them cultures and manners. Look at the way they behave when they get in the trains… They are CRAZY! How on earth can someone wearing a suit be rushing into trains when the passengers haven’t even alight?! Is that the culture or service standards we are trying to portray to the WORLD?! I’ve noticed some employees who knock off after work, some probably still wearing their uniforms which have the company’s name printed on them (eg. Breadtalk, Coffee Club, Starbucks, etc…) these are probably some of the uniforms you’ve seen while travelling on the train. These people are mostly on the frontline and they deal with day to day customers like you and i. We might probably feel that some of these establishments indeed have good service standards, but what happens to these people after work?! Have they forgotten what they learn?! Well, that’s probably another point to ponder.

Perhaps some of you might agree to what i’ve said, some of you don’t. Ultimately, what we want to debate about is whether the S$90m is put into good use?! The government definitely have their views about doing things, and i trust their effectiveness. Maybe it’s just some issues we have to polish up as a Singaporean that would make Singapore a better place to live in and most importantly, a TOP choice for others in their list of Travel Places!

Cheers!

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