Channel NewsAsia

Proposed amendments to STB Act garner positive feedback

The public and industry have expressed support for steps to raise professionalism and quality of tourist guides in Singapore.

SINGAPORE: The public and industry are generally supportive of proposed steps to raise the professionalism and quality of tourist guides in Singapore.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said this in a statement on Monday, following a three-week long consultation exercise that ended on December 13 last year.

Together with the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), the ministry had sought feedback from the public and industry on proposed amendments to the Singapore Tourism Board Act.

The legislatives changes are meant to strengthen the regulations against illegal guiding.

They would also boost STB's investigative powers against illegal guiding.

The maximum penalty for unlicensed guiding and related offences would also be raised.

In addition, the types of guiding offences will be updated to keep pace with the modus operandi of unlicensed guiding.

MTI said some 22 responses were received through the government feedback portal REACH.

Feedback was also gathered from seven industry briefings.

A total of 155 representatives from the industry, comprising tourist guides, the NTUC Tourist Guide Chapter and the Society of Tourist Guides Singapore, travel agents as well as attraction owners and operators attended the briefings, which were conducted by STB.

Besides giving their views on the proposed legislative changes, industry members also said there's a need to raise the capabilities of tourist guides through enhancing the training and licensing framework.

MTI said STB will continue to engage relevant industry partners on capability development efforts.

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