Local tour guides can play major role

Birdcage-maker Teng Leng Foo, 72.
Birdcage-maker Teng Leng Foo, 72.PHOTO: ST FILE

Local guides can play a major role in contributing to our fast-growing tourism sector (Wanted: Tour guides with niche expertise, March 23).

Singapore is well-known as a shopping destination, but visitors may also be keen to learn about our heritage, customs and food.

Given our treasure trove of more than 700 years of history, a good understanding of our rich cultural heritage will stand tour guides in good stead, and should form part of the training programme that awards tour guides their licences.

Tour guides should focus on activities that tap their experience and knowledge. For example, someone well versed in history would be a good choice to lead a heritage tour.

Guides must be trained to be culturally sensitive, especially when conducting visits to places of worship and memorials in Singapore, since tourists can come from different countries and have diverse backgrounds. A sense of empathy is also important.

Above all, local guides should prioritise good service and decorum, which will go a long way to making visitors' Singapore experience one to be remembered.

Their good work will be an important contribution to tourism in Singapore.

Jeffrey Law Lee Beng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 28, 2019, with the headline 'Local tour guides can play major role'. Print Edition | Subscribe