- Show and tell with style
- ‘Upskirt’ offender charged in court
- Convicted murderer escapes gallows
GUIDES at Singapore's main tourist attractions are to be trained on how to show and tell in a lively and fun fashion in the face of stiffer competition from abroad.
It is the first such training for them and other workers in the attractions industry, which is bracing for a slowdown after 10 years of unprecedented growth.
Similarly, the courses are a first too: tailor-made for industry workers by the Workforce Development Agency (WDA) in partnership with the Association of Singapore Attrac-tions (ASA).
The first course on how to deliver animated tours will start today and last for three days.
It is part of a series of modules in the programme, aptly called ACT, the acronym for Attractions Con-textualised Training.
Industry players like Chiang Zhan Xiang feel it is overdue.
Said Chiang, business development director of Butterfly Park & Insect Kingdom on Sentosa: "There are more free-and-easy travellers who come by word of mouth. They will pay money for a good experience and we need to give them that."
The training is especially urgent for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), said WDA tourism division director Janice Foo.
"The attractions sector is people-oriented and SMEs, employing fewer workers, find it difficult to customise training for their staff," she said.
"Skills such as communication, interaction and programme delivery are imperative to enable them to perform well in their job and leave tourists with a good impression of Singapore's attractions."
Agreeing, director of the Singapore Philatelic Museum, Tresnawati Prihadi, said: "Visitors now have higher expectations as they have seen places elsewhere."
It also plays a pivotal role in drawing tourists to Singapore's shores, helping the tourism industry contribute 4% to the country's gross domestic product.
From 2002 to last year, new attractions, such as the two integrated resorts and the Formula One night race, helped boost visitor arrivals, which grew at a compound annual rate of 6.6%.
But in the following 10 years, this rate is expected to slow, ranging between 3 and 4%.
Part of the reason is intensified competition from abroad. New integrated resorts will spring up soon in Macau and South Korea, Bangkok plans to hold an F1 night race by 2015, and Universal Studios theme parks are set to open in South Korea and Shanghai.
To meet the challenge, the ACT programme will introduce classes on such topics such as diction and story-telling in the next few months. Courses for supervisors are also in the pipeline.
Still, Gladys Loo, who manages mini-golf course LilliPutt in East Coast Park, will not send any of her four full-time workers for the training.
"Each staffer lasts only a year. If we send them, we have to re-do everything when they leave."
Chiang, however, plans to send all 26 full-time employees for the training. "They now learn on the job. The training will improve their skills and make our attraction more enticing. It also helps to retain staff." — The Straits Times / Asia News Network
A 36-year-old man who allegedly tucked his cellphone into the laces of his shoe to capture "upskirt'' video recordings of more than 200 women was charged.
Be Keng Hoon, a technical officer, is said to have committed 264 charges of intruding into the privacy of women between October 2011 and Aug 14, 2012.
Except for the first charge which says that the offence occurred at ION shopping mall on Aug 14, 2012, the locations and identities of the women in the rest of the charges are unknown.
Be, who has no lawyer, will be back in court on Aug 29.
If convicted, he could be jailed for up to one year and/or fined on each charge. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network
A 29-year-old Malaysian man who bashed a Chinese national to death while robbing him has become the second convicted murderer here to be sentenced to life imprisonment instead of the death penalty.
He was also given 24 strokes of the cane.
Jabing Kho's case had been sent back to the High Court for re-sentencing following changes to the law this year which give judges the option of handing down a life imprisonment for certain categories of murder.
He had been convicted in 2010 and his appeal dismissed in 2011. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network
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