The Singapore Tourism Board’s annual Singapore Experience Awards lauds individuals and organisations for going above and beyond the call of duty in delivering special, quality service experiences.
Nominated by the public and tourism professionals and judged by industry experts, the awards pay tribute to outstanding organisations and exceptional frontline service staff for 2015.
IF LAST year’s Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights left you with feel-good kind of chills, you would likely head back there again this year.
Halloween Horror Nights 4 by Universal Studios Singapore was one of the finalists at this year’s Singapore Experience Awards (SEA) in the Leisure Event of the Year category.
Organised by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), SEA is the pinnacle of awards in Singapore’s tourism industry, which recognise individuals and organisations delivering extraordinary experiences to customers.
As Singapore becomes a more costly tourist destination, the expectations of our international guests continue to rise. They expect higher quality in Singapore’s products and services commensurate with their cost of travel.
However, based on the Customer Satisfaction Index of Singapore conducted in 2014, both the F&B and tourism sectors registered significant declines in consumer satisfaction between 2013 and 2014.
Through this award, we hope to align the industry to create a stellar service culture that will meet customer expectations, drive visitorship and promote a stronger Singapore brand. It is important for STB to give out the Singapore Experience Awards. This will inspire hotels and individuals to raise the bar in creating distinctive and compelling Singapore experiences.
MR HOWARD LIM, chairman, Society of Tourist Guides (Singapore)
What would winning an SEA mean to a tour guide? For a tourist guide, this is the highest glory. The tour guide is an ambassador of a country, but still not recognised by the tourism industry. We can do more.
MR HOWARD LIM, chairman, Society of Tourist Guides (Singapore)
First held in 2009, the annual event is in its seventh run this year. It aims to inspire and challenge tourism companies to constantly innovate and provide more unique and exceptional experiences each year.
Chief executive of STB Lionel Yeo says: “The goal to create and deliver compelling and distinctive experiences is interwoven in our journey towards quality tourism. To succeed, we need the collective passion and commitment of the industry to move in cohesion and inspire each other.”
As companies strive to surpass and improve their offerings, the discerning consumer will receive an experience surpassing expectations and have him/her recommending a particular attraction and keep them coming back for more.
The SEA is open to companies in the tourism sectors of Attractions, Business Travel and MICE (Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conventions and Exhibitions), Dining, Education, Entertainment, Healthcare, Hospitality and Retail.
There are up to 30 awards in five categories:
Recognises frontline service professionals who go the extra mile in service delivery and create a lasting impression on customers.
Recognises companies who deliver innovative and differentiated experiences through their products and services or at events they organise, from global conferences to large-scale exhibitions.
Marketing and Media
Recognises impactful, creative integrated campaigns aimed at drawing visitors here by showcasing a unique Singapore experience.
Recognises industry figures who display leadership, business acumen, creativity and commitment to developing the future of Singapore’s tourism.
Recognises individuals or organisations who have made a significant impact on developing Singapore’s tourism scene.
Award recipients are judged based on stringent criteria that include customer satisfaction reports, staff training initiatives, innovation and process improvement initiatives such as job redesign or technology.
These criteria ensure that an organisation looks into all aspects of its operations that it can improve on to constantly deliver a holistic experience through process redesign, continuous innovation and productivity and customer engagement mechanisms.
The judging panel for each award category comprises local and international tourism industry professionals and experts, giving credence to the judging process.
A word from the judges
“The entries in this year’s SEA embody service excellence, passion and dedication, and are equally deserving in their own right. Frankly, it was challenging to pick the winner due to the strong submissions. I would like to commend all companies for sharing their best practices and achievements via this prestigious awards platform.”
Mr Ian Wilson, senior vice-president of hotel operations, Marina Bay Sands
“My experience as a “first-time” judge for the Singapore Experience Awards has given me an opportunity to look at customer service from another angle. It was challenging, but it allowed me to rigorously test the service standards of the finalist. The finalists have all shown why they deserve to be chosen.
The Singapore Experience Awards is a great way to thank and exemplify outstanding service staffs in Singapore. This in turn, inspires others to improve and reach new heights in their careers.”
Mr John Ng Pangilinan, chief executive officer, OvenBaked Ideas
“It’s vital that we recognise and celebrate the people and experiences that drive our hospitality, tourism and leisure industries. These people and the businesses in which they work are our ambassadors — not just to our fellow citizens and residents but also — to the world.
I personally would like every visitor to leave Singapore with only great things to say about the experiences they had here. I hope these awards can help motivate the professionals in these sectors to constantly strive for better standards and to create more enriching, exciting, seamless and heartfelt moments for our foreign friends and local guests.”
Mr Aun Koh, chairman, The Ate Group
“It is heartwarming to learn how the frontline individuals go the extra mile to make the difference in a visitor’s experience to Singapore. With an act of concern and a word of kindness, the finalists are true ambassadors of what Singapore has to offer.”
Mr Alvin Yapp, owner, The Intan
“All the finalists have demonstrated exceptional commitment, passion and professionalism in their roles as brand ambassadors for their respective organisations. These Awards show STB’s commitment to recognising and encouraging the talent and achievements of people working in the industry, and we are grateful to STB for organising this Award. Congratulations again to both STB and the deserving winners!”
Mr Cherinjit Shori, group chief operating officer, Asian American Medical Group
The 2015 SEA Award Recipients
EXPERIENCE - LEISURE
Best Dining Experience
Forest, Resorts World Sentosa
Best Healthcare Experience
Mount Elizabeth Hospitals
Best Hotel Experience
Best Learning & Travel Experience
Ocean Dreams by S.E.A. Aquarium, Resorts World Sentosa
Best Nightspot Experience
Best Shopping Experience
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
Best Visitor Attraction Experience
Universal Studios Singapore, Resorts World Sentosa
Leisure Event of the Year
Halloween Horror Nights 4 at Universal Studios Singapore, Resorts World Sentosa
EXPERIENCE - MICE
Association Conference Organiser of the Year
MCI Group Asia Pacific Pte Ltd for International Symposium on Pediatric Neuro-Oncology 2014
Business Event Service Provider of the Year
Kingsmen Exhibits Pte Ltd for BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global
Business Event Venue of the Year
Marina Bay Sands
PARKROYAL on Pickering, a PARKROYAL Collection Hotel
Exhibition Organiser of the Year
HRM Asia Pte Ltd for HR Summit 2014
Meeting / Incentive Organiser of the Year
Tour East Singapore (1996) Pte Ltd for Telstra GES LKO 2014
Trade Conference Organiser of the Year
SingEx Exhibition Ventures for Internet of Things Asia 2014
MARKETING AND MEDIA
Best Singapore Experience Story (Broadcast)
“And Now Let’s Enjoy the Pictures of Singapore Gardens”, TG5 – Mediaset
Best Singapore Experience Story (Digital)
“GQ Man’s Guide to Singapore”, GQ Magazine India
Best Singapore Experience Story (Print)
“Our Definitive Guide to Singapore”, Travel + Leisure
Most Innovative Marketing Idea
Human Body Experience Exhibition by Science Centre Singapore
Customer Service – Food & Beverage
Mr Bonaventure Newman D’Silva, The Clifford Pier, The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore
Customer Service - Hotel
Mr Fenady Effendy Abdul Jaffar, Far East Hospitality
Mr Muhammad Ridzwan Ramly, Orchard Central, Far East Organization
Customer Service – Tourist Guiding
Mr Tan Swee Lim
Customer Service – Transport
Mr Sim Boon Hwa, SMRT Buses Pte Ltd
Customer Service – Visitor Attraction
Mr Mohammad Shahril Saine, Jurong Bird Park, Wildlife Reserves Singapore
Exceptional Achievement(2016 – 2017)
Mount Elizabeth Hospitals for Best Healthcare Experience (2013 – 2015)
Breakthrough Contribution to Tourism
BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore Presented by SC Global
Lifetime Achievement for Outstanding Contribution to Tourism
Mrs May Sng
Best Business Event Champion
Mr Sing Mong Kee
On the road to glory
RECEIVING the “Lifetime Achievement For Outstanding Contribution to Tourism” award is Mrs May Sng (left), former chairman of Orchard Road Business Association (ORBA), who has raised the profile of Orchard
Road from shopping street to tourist attraction.
This award honours outstanding individuals whose vision, dedication and contributions have had a significant impact and influence on the development of tourism in Singapore.
Mrs Sng led ORBA when the 2.5km-long Orchard Road, Singapore’s main shopping and entertainment belt, faced stiff competition from Marina Bay Sands and a proliferation of malls in the HDB heartlands.
Under her charge, Orchard Road has become synonymous with shopping in Singapore, cementing it as a must-visit destination.
Thanking STB for the award and for its support over the years, Mrs Sng says: “I am truly grateful for the privilege of helping in the creation of many of Singapore’s extraordinary shopping experiences and serving ORBA over many years.
“I am indebted to all our stakeholders, sponsors and STB, for supporting our initiatives, to make Orchard Road the first choice, award-winning destination for all our shoppers.
“I am deeply humbled to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.”
During her tenure at ORBA from 2006 to January this year, Mrs Sng initiated many signature events, including Fashion Steps Out, Rev-Up @ Orchard and Christmas on A Great Street.
From 2010 to 2012, Orchard Road saw a 33 per cent increase in international visitors.
The MICE champion
MR SING Mong Kee (right) is this year’s “Best Business Event Champion”. This award is given to individuals from a trade or professional association, whose contributions have had a significant impact on the development of the business events industry in Singapore.
After two futile attempts in 2011 and 2013, Mr Sing has finally succeeded in bringing the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) World Congress to Singapore for 2019.
His sheer determination and ensuing success will result in bringing 5,000 foreign delegates here, and showcase Singapore’s ITS capabilities. The four-day congress is also expected to rake in an estimated $11 million in total revenue.
Mr Sing is the immediate past president (from 2004 to July this year) of The Intelligent Transport Society of Singapore (ITSS), a non-profit organisation that promotes awareness and use of transport technologies, and provides a forum on intelligent transport systems.
He has showcased Singapore’s ITS capabilities by taking part and exhibiting at various events globally.
Mr Sing worked closely with the Land Transport Authority and various stakeholders to make a bid for the 2019 event. To garner support, he even made trips to other ITS chapters in Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
Says Mr Sing: “We wanted to bring major industry conferences to Singapore. In 2008, we hosted the ITS Asia Pacific Forum with great success. We also hosted the Singapore Night Reception during major ITS congresses, to get everyone excited about coming here.
“As President of the ITSS, I wanted to ensure that major industry events happened here, to position Singapore as an ITS thought leader with innovative ITS solutions.”
We have been experiencing some problems with subscriber log-ins and apologise for the inconvenience caused. Until we resolve the issues, subscribers need not log in to access ST Digital articles. But a log-in is still required for our PDFs.