Service ambassador among 30 to receive Singapore Tourism Awards

Mr Mohamed Farham Mohamed Noh has been in the customer service industry for 17 years and now works at Sentosa Leisure Management as a service ambassador and transport executive. He won the Customer Service Excellence for Attractions Award at the Sing
Mr Mohamed Farham Mohamed Noh has been in the customer service industry for 17 years and now works at Sentosa Leisure Management as a service ambassador and transport executive. He won the Customer Service Excellence for Attractions Award at the Singapore Tourism Awards 2019 last night.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

In his 17 years in the customer service industry, Mr Mohamed Farham Mohamed Noh has dealt with a range of situations, but one in particular is etched on 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 was to help."

Despite the language barrier, Mr Farham took 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 yesterday evening at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore. He won the Customer Service Excellence for Attractions Award.

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

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

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

Mr Keith Tan, chief executive of the 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.

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.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 10, 2019, with the headline 'Service ambassador among 30 to receive Singapore Tourism Awards'. Print Edition | Subscribe