We thank Mr Adam Adnan for his letter and feedback (Need to check mess at Merlion Park; Forum Online, Dec 2).
The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) will continue to work with the relevant parties to ensure the safety of visitors at the Merlion Park.
On the matter of unlicensed tourist guides - it is an issue the STB takes a serious view of.
A licensed tourist guide must be engaged when guiding services are provided for remuneration, regardless of the number of tourists.
However, the mere act of ferrying tourists does not constitute guiding, whether or not tourists are ferried around in minivans.
The STB has stepped up enforcement checks over the years regarding this matter.
This year, more than 1,100 checks have been carried out at places of interest around Singapore, including the Merlion Park. This is up from around 200 checks in 2013.
Enforcement action, including prosecution, warnings in lieu of prosecution, and composition, have been taken against unlicensed tourist guides, some of whom include foreign tour leaders, and hirers of unlicensed tourist guides.
The STB will continue to closely monitor the situation and take firm action against companies and individuals who do not comply with the rules.
Ong Ling Lee (Ms)
Director, Travel Agents and Tourist Guides
Singapore Tourism Board