30 individuals and organisations honoured at Singapore Tourism Awards 2019

Mr Mohamed Farham Mohamed Noh, service ambassador and transport executive at Sentosa Leisure Management, receiving the Customer Service Excellence for Attractions Award from Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing during the Singapore Tourism Awar
Mr Mohamed Farham Mohamed Noh, service ambassador and transport executive at Sentosa Leisure Management, receiving the Customer Service Excellence for Attractions Award from Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing during the Singapore Tourism Awards 2019 ceremony on May 9, 2019.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - In his 17 years in the customer service industry, Mr Mohamed Farham Mohamed Noh has dealt with a range of situations, but one particular one is etched in his mind.

Last year, the 37-year-old service ambassador and transport executive at Sentosa Leisure Management noticed a distraught, elderly Caucasian woman crying near Resorts World Sentosa.

"She looked so scared, and unfortunately she did not understand a single word of English," said Mr Farham. "Seeing a distraught guest like that, my first thought is to help."

Despite the language barrier, Mr Farham brought the woman around Sentosa in the hope of locating her friends.

He eventually managed to find out which hotel she was staying at and hailed a taxi to send her there. He even visited the hotel after working hours to check that she was back safely.

Mr Farham was one of the 30 recipients of the Singapore Tourism Awards 2019 on Thursday evening (May 9) at The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore. He won the Customer Service Excellence for Attractions Award.

"I am at a loss of words," said Mr Farham, holding back his tears.

 
 

The annual ceremony recognises the efforts of individuals and organisations in making Singapore more attractive and diverse in experiences.

This year's event had over 92 finalists in 27 categories.

Mr Keith Tan, chief executive of Singapore Tourism Board, said: "We want to inspire other industry members to raise the level of their game, so that together we can make Singapore a great destination for our visitors and a great home for our people."

"To stay ahead of our competitors and to strengthen Singapore as a great destination...we must continue to work together to offer unique and extraordinary experiences that others cannot replicate elsewhere."

Culinary doyenne Violet Oon received the highest accolade - Lifetime Achievement for Outstanding Contribution to Tourism.


Culinary doyenne Violet Oon received the highest accolade - Lifetime Achievement for Outstanding Contribution to Tourism. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Ms Oon, who just turned 70 years old, has dedicated her life to curating and chronicling Singapore's food heritage. Her journey began when she lived in England for a period of time as a child and missed local food deeply.

"I'm flabbergasted," said Ms Oon. "I couldn't believe it and had to delve deep into all my work and hobbies since the 1960s."

"Getting an award like this is a responsibility. It's like 'What next? What else can I do for Singapore to impart what I know?'"

Beyond business, she has plans to do more community work and conduct cooking classes.