Give tour guides a fairer deal

It is high time Singapore's frontline ambassadors - tourist guides - are given the right to steer their own ship and set their own fees.

Currently, they can work only under the umbrella of companies and travel agencies.

They are not allowed to advertise or conduct transport-assisted tours.

They are dependent on work given to them by the agencies.

The travel agencies, however, treat the guides as freelancers, and mostly dictate the hourly fees with a "take it or leave it" attitude.

This is unfair to the guides. Surely the Singapore Tourism Board can come up with a system to allow trained and licensed guides to conduct full-fledged tours and set fees independently of companies and travel agencies.

Florence Veronica Minjoot

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 08, 2017, with the headline 'Give tour guides a fairer deal'. Subscribe