SINGAPORE: Singapore’s tourism industry is pulling out all the stops to attract and retain talent — this includes seeking to cultivate more gracious customers, as dealing with difficult clients is one of the reasons that deter people from joining the industry.
Asia’s travel and tourism industry is expected to create about 47 million new jobs in the next 10 years.
In Singapore, the core tourism industry will have created some 150,000 jobs by next year.
However, a study conducted by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and The Boston Consulting Group in 2012 showed that labour supply shortage in Asia will hit about 8 million in 2021, with the most acute gaps at the managerial level.
Long hours, difficult customers and low career advancement prospects may deter many aspiring candidates from joining the industry, the study showed.
To meet these challenges, the STB and industry leaders have been collaborating with the Singapore Kindness Movement to cultivate more gracious customers.
More training and upgrading opportunities have also been made available to employees.
They are also going to schools to attract students to join the industry.
Neeta Lachmandas, Assistant Chief Executive at STB, said: “I think another area that really we need to work on is to build up awareness of the entire industry, how multi-faceted the industry is, and how interesting the industry is. I don’t think that’s coming across.”
Marc Dardenne, CEO of Patina Hotels and Resorts, said that changes needed to be made in the way the industry attracted new talents.
He said: “So we have to rethink the way we operate, rethink the way we attract, especially the younger employees.
“(We need to) really rethink the way we deal with them and put ourselves in their shoes and kind of break up the old system that we have in place which has been in place for many many years.”
Tourism industry seeking to attract new talent