STB should seek feedback from small players too

Major stakeholders in the travel industry have different dynamics and focus as compared with smaller players ("Call to regulate travel agencies"; Tuesday).

By engaging only major stakeholders in considering new guidelines and regulations, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) may gear the travel industry to suit the big players while making it less conducive for the smaller agents to survive in this very competitive industry.

I run a small, STB-licensed travel agency that is focused on organising travel plans for special interest groups and my friends.

It takes time, an exploratory mindset, careful consideration and money to derive a satisfying travel alternative to the standard packages offered by mainstream travel agents.

Hence, I would like to think that I also speak on behalf of other small travel agencies that many are not out for some quick cash.

What drove me to start my own travel firm was my less than satisfying experience in engaging one of the "industry watchers" mentioned in the article to organise a trip for me and my friends.

It is unfortunate that some businesses flourish and some fail. But no regulation can ensure the honesty and integrity of any one person.

In fact, what drove me to start my own travel firm was my less than satisfying experience in engaging one of the "industry watchers" mentioned in the article to organise a trip for me and my friends.

The STB needs to go beyond listening to only major stakeholders in this ever-evolving industry.

Glen Yang
Director Of Operations, Go Kai Kai

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 31, 2015, with the headline 'STB should seek feedback from small players too'. Print Edition | Subscribe