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NTUC move to set tour guide rates draws flak

Recommendations not practical as services vary a lot, say guides, agents

Published on Aug 11, 2014 7:51 AM
 
As of December last year, there were 2,360 licensed tour guides here, such as freelancers and guides employed by travel agencies. They can charge as little as $10 an hour, or up to $180 per hour. -- ST FILE PHOTO

A union group has come up with guidelines on what tour guides can charge, a move that has been criticised by the industry.

The National Trades Union Congress' (NTUC) Tour Guide Chapter has outlined the minimum fees for guides, which includes charging $150 for a four-hour, half-day tour, and $250 for a full-day one.

Freelance guides and travel agents The Straits Times spoke to said guides' services are too varied to come under a standard price. The move was "anti-competitive", they said, even though there are no penalties for not following the recommendations.

As of December last year, there were 2,360 licensed tour guides here, such as freelancers and guides employed by travel agencies. They can charge as little as $10 an hour, or up to $180 per hour for someone with specialised knowledge or who speaks multiple languages.

 
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Background story

FEE GUIDELINES FOR GUIDES

$150

for a four-hour half-day tour

$250

for a full-day tour


Guidelines are not practical because prices vary according to the type of tour being conducted, says Ms Alicia Seah, director of marketing communications at Dynasty Travel. A half-day tour to Sentosa, for instance, may cost less than one to attractions such as the Botanic Gardens or the Peranakan Museum, as the local guide has to provide less commentary for the former.

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