Tourism 'professor' bags lifetime achievement award

Industry veteran Janet Tan-Collis was yesterday recognised with a lifetime achievement accolade at the Singapore Tourism Awards for promoting the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions segment through her outreach to educational institutio
Industry veteran Janet Tan-Collis (above) was yesterday recognised with a lifetime achievement accolade at the Singapore Tourism Awards for promoting the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions segment through her outreach to educational institutions to groom future professionals. Meanwhile, The Lo & Behold Group founders Wee Teng Wen and Daniel He picked up the Outstanding Tourism Entrepreneur award for their company's contributions to the hospitality and food and beverage scene, through the stable of eateries they have built over the past decade.PHOTOS: LIANHE ZAOBAO
Industry veteran Janet Tan-Collis was yesterday recognised with a lifetime achievement accolade at the Singapore Tourism Awards for promoting the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions segment through her outreach to educational institutio
Industry veteran Janet Tan-Collis was yesterday recognised with a lifetime achievement accolade at the Singapore Tourism Awards for promoting the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions segment through her outreach to educational institutions to groom future professionals. Meanwhile, The Lo & Behold Group founders Wee Teng Wen (with tie) and Daniel He picked up the Outstanding Tourism Entrepreneur award for their company's contributions to the hospitality and food and beverage scene, through the stable of eateries they have built over the past decade.PHOTOS: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Call her "professor" Janet Tan- Collis. The tourism veteran would pop into classrooms at polytechnics and other institutions to share her experience in trying to grow Singapore's meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (Mice) sector.

The hope, the 64-year-old said, is to inspire and develop the interests of students who aspire to gain a foothold in the industry.

She said: "I do a 'professor for the day' as and when I'm needed. There is a shortage of entrepreneurship and talent in our Mice industry. If you add a lot of that zest and charm (from students), I think the industry will be really just spectacular."

Last year, Mice visitors here spent $611 million.

For her efforts, Mrs Tan-Collis, who has been president of the Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers since 2013, was awarded a lifetime achievement accolade at the Singapore Tourism Awards yesterday.

  • Some winners

  • •Best attraction experience: Singapore Zoo, Wildlife Reserves Singapore

    •Best dining experience: Burnt Ends, Unlisted Collection

    •Best hotel experience: The Quincy Hotel, Far East Hospitality

    •Best nightspot experience: Manhattan, Regent Singapore, A Four Seasons Hotel

    •Best shopping experience: Bynd Artisan

    •Best tour experience: Disappearing Trades, Tribe

    •Best leisure event: Halloween Horror Nights 6, Resorts World Sentosa

    •Special recognition: Mr Vincent Tan, founder and managing director, Select Group

She was among a select group of people and organisations clinching top honours at the ceremony organised by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and attended by Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S. Iswaran. There were another 25 who took home prizes in the three award categories: customer service, experience excellence and enterprise excellence.

Michelin Guide Singapore was awarded Breakthrough Contribution to Tourism for bringing the culinary guide here and boosting Singapore's brand as a foodie heaven.

Meanwhile, The Lo & Behold Group founders Wee Teng Wen and Daniel He received the Outstanding Tourism Entrepreneur award for the stable of eateries they have built over the past decade.

"In many ways, Singapore was very different back then," said Mr Wee, 37. "There was no Dempsey, no Clarke Quay. Singapore had a reputation for being very flat and sterile." So he threw himself into developing outlets with strong local inspiration in menus and decor.

Hotel operator UE Park Avenue International won Best Business Innovation for adopting two robots in housekeeping operations. "We've totally freed up the room attendants from carrying heavy items and making multiple trips to the back of the house," said general manager Ryan Sun, 54, adding that they now have more time to interact with guests.

On the growing role of technology in the industry, Mrs Tan-Collis said: "I think digital marketing will be the order of the day, and cyber security will be a big issue - but I don't see it as a problem. I see it as an opportunity for Singapore to step up."

STB chief executive Lionel Yeo said: "These awards aim to raise industry standards and showcase the best of what Singapore tourism has to offer. Raising industry capabilities and up-skilling is vital to ensure sustainable tourism growth. This entails adopting good business practices and innovating to adapt to a fast-changing environment."

Last year, the tourism sector welcomed a high of 16.4 million visitors, who spent a record $24.8 billion.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 05, 2017, with the headline 'Tourism 'professor' bags lifetime achievement award'. Print Edition | Subscribe