Industry Related (Travel & Hospitality)

Sun, Sea, Sand and…School

The Maldives has long been a coveted holiday destination for many with its gorgeous beaches and crystal clear waters. However, for the TP students who went there for their internships, this idyllic island country is not just a tourist attraction but also a learning site beyond their classroom.

By Becky Lo

In October 2009, a group of 13 final-year Tourism & Hospitality students from Temasek Polytechnic (TP) were given the chance to work at the Four Seasons Resorts in Maldives as part of their internships. Among them were Joyce Xu and Ong Su Lin, both of whom had worked in the restaurants of two separate properties of the Four Seasons Resorts – Kuda Huraa and Landaa Giraavaru.

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FIREfly-IESG: The World Beckons

Travelling and interacting with foreigners is inherent in the job of an IE Singapore officer. A FIREfly scholar shares how she fell in love with it.

By Tan Yan Shuo

In the Andean mountain valleys of Peru lie the ruins of an ancient civilisation. The Inca Empire, having reached the peak of its power in the fifteenth century, built an extensive network of roads to connect its far-flung provinces centred on a mountain citadel – the Machu Picchu.

While studying in the United States, Gena Goh could not forgo the opportunity to retrace history by trekking the Incan trail during one of her school holidays. Neither could she pass up the chance to go backpacking in Guatemala and Mexico, moving from one country to the other by boating across the Usumacinta River.

And yet, Gena is not just an avid globe-trotter. She is also well-versed in culture and human behaviour, having studied Psychology at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and attained a master’s in Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Chicago. All this was made possible by the FIREfly scholarship, which she was awarded by IE Singapore in 2004.

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STB: An Innovative Attraction

At STB, work goes beyond the realms of mere marketing and into the hub of creating excitement.

By Nabilah Husna A. Rahman

The local tourism industry is set to boom, with pivotal developments led by the world’s only FORMULA ONE night race; the opening of the integrated resorts, Marina Bay SandsTM and Resorts World at Sentosa; landmark events like the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games; new attractions such as Gardens by the Bay and River Safari; and new retail establishments such as ION Orchard and 313@Somerset gracing the newly rejuvenated Orchard Road.

These promising enhancements to the landscape are what drove Li Hongyi to dive headfirst into the industry with the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) as her first choice.

“My graduation coincided with a lot of the excitement lined up in the tourism industry,” says the National University of Singapore (NUS) alumnus. “So I thought that if I wanted to be in the centre of all the excitement, where else can I be, besides STB? That reaffirmed my choice and I gave the management trainee programme a shot.”

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SIA: The Perfect Lift-Off

The notion of flight has enticed mankind for centuries. One SIA pilot reveals how his profession complements his interest for travel and aviation.

By Nabilah Husna A. Rahman

What is usually every young boy’s first fantasy is very much a reality for Captain Tay Lim Tiang, a pilot with Singapore Airlines (SIA). Having long harboured an interest in flight technology, Lim Tiang now has control over the “metal birds” and travels to different cities all over the globe for a living.

He chose to study Electronics and Communication Engineering at Singapore Polytechnic (SP) in order to chase his dream of flying to success, literally. “I was very intrigued with the job of a pilot during my youth. I was fascinated by the machines that are able to take flight in the sky,” the SIA pilot reveals.

With regard to his engineering background, Lim Tiang explains, “Modern aircraft incorporates many applications of technology, and as such, pursuing an engineering diploma is a logical extension of my interest in aviation.”

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STB: Synergising Passion With Fun

Gain fresh insights about the tourism industry as we speak to STB’s Chief Executive, as well as a young professional with a zest for shaping the nation.

By Cheryl Lim

Forty-five years ago, Singapore’s tourism industry was birthed through the establishment of the nation’s own tourism organisation – the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board, now known as the Singapore Tourism Board (STB). That year, with a staff strength of 25, the organisation launched the first of its tourism marketing campaigns and garnered 91,000 visitor arrivals.

Over the decades, Singapore’s tourism industry has grown in leaps and bounds. In 2008, the nation enjoyed 10.1 million visitor arrivals and record tourism receipts of S$14.8 billion – all thanks to a dedicated, innovative group of people at STB and close collaboration with tourism industry partners. And despite the recent downturn, tourism remains a viable generator of growth for Singapore and the region.

“In the long-term, we are optimistic about tourism. The potential in our part of the world is tremendous. This is a region that people want to get to know, to learn about the history, heritage, food, and behaviour. It’s very exciting because the whole region is becoming more interesting and vibrant to people both within the region and outside,” says Ms Aw Kah Peng, Chief Executive for STB.

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JCU: Insights Into the World

By Charlene Tan

Twenty-one-year-old Francesca Fiorendi has lived in Italy, France and Holland, and has now made Singapore her home. With parents who travelled frequently for work, she was exposed to the wonders of travel from a young age. Hence, her enthusiasm for the tourism industry comes as no surprise.

In October 2007, she enrolled with James Cook University Australia, Singapore Campus to study Business and Tourism & Hospitality Management. “I think that studying in an Australian university is a good way to complement theory with the living experience in Singapore, especially in a subject like Tourism. Plus, making friends from different backgrounds when we do group work is a great chance to see things from a different perspective than, say, if you were in a local university,” explains Francesca of her choice to study at the Singapore campus.

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EASB: Tourism Dreams

By Stella Seet

With the Integrated Resorts set to open their doors in a few months, the competitive tourism industry is burgeoning with potential for greater exponential growth. For tourism students Mary Grace Rogel Tamotsu and Steven Thant Min Thet, an education at the East Asia Institute of Management (EASB) is their stepping stone into the colourful world of tourism.

Mary has been passionate about tourism from a young age, when she was exposed to the field through her auntie who was in the hotel industry. After achieving a Diploma in Hotel Management from a private institution in Malaysia, she was eager to grow her knowledge of the field by furthering her education.

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STB - Cultural Aspirations

Thanks to the STB scholarship, Magdalen Chua is now in a dynamic and flourishing industry that keeps her constantly motivated and challenged.

By Stella Seet

Candidate description
Magdalen Chua
Designation: Manager, Sightseeing and Attractions Cluster Development, STB
Studied: International Relations, Brown University
Postgraduate Diploma in Cultural and Tourism Studies, University of Perpignan
Master’s in International Resort Management, Institut Vatel

“Things are changing, and tourism has a high profile in Singapore,” says 27-year-old Magdalen Chua, a scholar with the Singapore Tourism Board (STB). “It is something that has shaped the way a lot of people see Singapore, and it has also impacted the lives of Singaporeans.”

While studying Arts in junior college, Magdalen developed a strong interest in culture and communications, and a scholarship with STB seemed a perfect match for her inclinations towards the industry. However, to ensure she was making the right decision, Magdalen did her due diligence and thoroughly researched on the agency’s missions, objectives, and core business beforehand.

“I wasn’t interested in a structured nine-to-five job,” says Magdalen, on how STB’s vibrant corporate culture was a suitable fit for her effervescent personality. “When I came for the interviews, I got the sense that it would be a very dynamic industry.”

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FIREfly (STB): Placing Singapore Centre Stage

A career at the STB is more than about shining the spotlight on Singapore as the ideal tourist destination – it enables you to play a part in increasing Singapore’s presence on the world map.

By Charlene Tan

Michele Ng, FIREfly Scholar (STB)
Designation: Management Trainee, Corporate Communications, STB
Studied: BSc in Marketing and Accounting, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, New York University

Imagine you’re watching a blockbuster movie, in which the opening scene shows a strapping man alighting from a yellow taxi along a busy city street. Where do you think the movie is set? All the elements point to one location – the iconic New York City.

How is movie-making related to tourism, you might wonder.

Michele Ng, a FIREfly scholar with the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), has the answer.

“With the right kind of marketing, I feel that New York’s draw as a backdrop for films is what Singapore can use as a benchmark,” comes her witty reply. For someone interested in dance, fashion, art, and all things creative, 24-year-old Michele has much to offer the vibrant community at the STB.

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EASB: Tourism Dreams

With the Integrated Resorts set to open their doors in a few months, the competitive tourism industry is burgeoning with potential for greater exponential growth. For tourism students Mary Grace Rogel Tamotsu and Steven Thant Min Thet, an education at the East Asia Institute of Management (EASB) is their stepping stone into the colourful world of tourism.

By Stella Seet

Mary has been passionate about tourism from a young age, when she was exposed to the field through her auntie who was in the hotel industry. After achieving a Diploma in Hotel Management from a private institution in Malaysia, she was eager to grow her knowledge of the field by furthering her education.

Similarly, Steven also discovered his love for tourism in his teenage years. He credits his enthusiasm for the industry to the wide range of Korean and Japanese movies about the hotel industry that he used to watch. After graduating from high school in his hometown in Myanmar, Steven came to Singapore for a diploma course in Tourism & Hospitality Management. However, once that was over, he was craving for more.

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