The 2013 Singapore Experience Awards recognised the best of the best in the tourism sector at a stunning ceremony in October.
Demonstrating the value and importance of the Awards was the attendance of President of the republic of Singapore,
Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam and more than 500 high-profile individuals working in the tourism sector, including business event and meetings professionals.
“When it comes to experiences, I am sure we all have our own fond memories of great instances,” said Singapore Tourism Board Chief Executive, Lionel Yeo at the event.
“It could be a heritage tour so well narrated that it is almost like a re-enactment of the scenes from the past, or a service professional who remembers your favourite drink each time you visit.
“The Singapore Experience Awards is a tribute to such great experiences. It is one of our key initiatives to build the industry’s competitiveness by inspiring excellence in business, product and service.
“The goal to create and deliver compelling and distinctive experiences is a critical one, and is interwoven into our journey towards achieving quality tourism,” he said.
Award winners were named after extensive scrutiny from a prestigious judging panel including CEO of ACI HR Solutions Limited, Andrew Chan, who said recognising excellence and benchmarking the best of the best allows the industry to strive and become even better.
“The Awards is an essential platform not only for recognition, but to motivate the next generation and keep Singapore as one of the best global tourism destinations in the world,” Mr Chan said.
Beyond service standards
A key feature of the Awards is that finalists and recipients have gone beyond high service delivery, instead celebrating innovation and exceptional experiences that help to maintain Singapore’s edge in the competitive global tourism sector.
See and read who the winners were in the following pages.
The Awards presentation ceremony honoured outstanding individuals and organisations in a glittering night at the Singapore Marriott Hotel.
Now in its fifth year, the Awards recognised those who exemplify holistic experience delivery, and who have gone the extra mile to create and deliver business, product and service excellence.
Top awards in the Special Recognition and Outstanding Contribution categories were presented to four recipients including Robert Khoo, retired CEO of the National Association of Travel Agents Singapore (NATAS) Group who received the evening’s highest accolade, the Lifetime Achievement for Outstanding Contribution to Tourism.
His vision and commitment to the tourism industry has been instrumental in raising the professionalism of travel agents and the image of Singapore’s travel trade overseas.
Dr Perry Shum, founding member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers Photonics Society was recognised as Business Event Ambassador for his strong advocacy of Singapore’s MICE industry and significant contributions in anchoring key global conferences in Singapore.
Professor Shum said being named the Business Event Ambassador at the Awards “was a great honour and recognition from the Singapore Government of my volunteer work.”
“This [Awards] is certainly an excellent event. Some of the award winners received the awards on stage with tears. I was sitting very close to the stage and I was really touched by the taxi driver who won this year.”
Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year was awarded to Olivier Bendel, CEO of Déliciae Hospitality Management. His creative dining concepts at unique sites including Sentosa Cove and the heritage-rich Duxton Hill have refreshed Singapore’s dining scene and helped to showcase the vibrancy and dynamism of the city.
Taking home the Breakthrough Contribution to Tourism award was Gardens by the Bay, not only for bringing a whole new level of innovation to Singapore’s tourism offerings, but more significantly, cementing Singapore’s unique position as a city in a garden.
Spanning across four categories of Customer Service, Events, Experiences and Marketing and Media, the Awards also recognised 28 of the tourism industry’s shining stars. Best Hotel Experience was awarded to the Capella Hotel Singapore while Best Business Event Venue Experience was presented to two time winner Marina Bay Sands. The Best Travel Experience award witnessed a first ever tie between Journeys Pte Ltd, Changi WWIITM – A Changi Museum War Trail and the Wild Discover Tour by the Singapore Zoo. m
Visit www.SingaporeExperience.com for the full list of finalists and recipients.