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STB's International Advisory Council for Tourism to Discuss Singapore Tourism in Post-SARS Environment

Travel News Asia 8 November 2003

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) will be organising an International Advisory Council for Tourism (IACT) meeting on 10 and 11 November, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Singapore.

The two-day IACT meeting will focus on "Tourism in a New Business Environment". The Council will discuss and explore key issues and trends facing the Singapore tourism industry in a post-SARS environment.

Topics of the meeting include:

- Positioning Singapore as a destination for the next ten years to ensure tourism remains a sustainable engine of economic growth for Singapore,

- Improving Singapore's position as a tourism hub in the face of developments in the aviation industry,

- Cultivating Singaporeans as Tourism Ambassadors,

- Developing Singapore as a strong events destination, and

- Developing Singapore as a choice business travel and MICE destination.

The IACT, established by the STB in 1999, comprises prominent leaders of international tourism organisations from diverse tourism-related sectors around the world.

The Council has been enlarged from ten members to fifteen, which STB stated was to ensure a wider representation of views from the various tourism sectors, particularly from Cruise and Education. The five new members this year are Mr Lim Chin Beng, Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, Mr John L Sharpe, Professor Xie Shengwu and Mr Adrian Zecha.

The 15 distinguished members of the current Council are:

Wee Ee-chao, Chairman, Singapore Tourism Board, Singapore

Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Chair and Chief Executive, Carlson Companies Inc, USA 

Rupert G Keeley, President and Chief Executive, VISA International Asia Pacific Region, Singapore

The Honourable Jeffrey Gibb Kennett, Past Premier of Victoria, Australia

Lim Chin Beng, Chairman, The Ascott Group Limited, Singapore

Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, Chairman, President and Chief Executive, Star Cruises, Malaysia

Lim Neo Chian, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board, Singapore

Ranjit Malkani, Chairman and Chief Executive, India and Asia Kuoni Travel Group, India 

Charles Petruccelli, President, American Express Global Travel Services, France

Mike Rusbridge, Chairman, Reed Exhibitions, UK

John L Sharpe, Chair, Finance Committee The Culinary Institute of America, USA

Koji Shinmachi, Chairman, Japan Association of Travel Agents, Japan

Xie Shengwu, President, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, People's Republic of China

Yang Lan, Chairperson, Sun Media Group Holdings, People's Republic of China 

Adrian Zecha, Chairman, Amanresorts, Singapore

Mr Wee Ee-chao, Chairman of STB, who is also Chairman of IACT 2003, said; "The IACT enables the STB to tap on the diverse expertise and rich experience of the Council members to ensure a well-balanced global perspective in its strategic planning process. In an increasingly competitive global environment, their visionary ideas and views serve as invaluable reference for STB to formulate long term strategies that will maintain and strengthen Singapore's reputation as a premier tourism destination."

Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, Chairman, President and Chief Executive, Star Cruises, Malaysia said; "It is indeed an honour to be a part of this very distinguished group of individuals who share the common objective of advancing the tourism industry at a strategic level. As an excellent platform to coalesce the contribution from the diverse players in the tourism industry, we look forward to sharing our experiences from the cruise tourism perspective."

"The education sector has excellent growth prospects, especially with the recent demand for quality education services from key markets such as China and other Asian countries. Singapore can leverage on its globally recognised excellent educational infrastructure and system to position itself as a key education hub in the region. I look forward to sharing my experience and knowledge of the education industry with the STB and industry players," said Mr Xie Shengwu.

Mr Adrian Zecha, Chairman, Amanresorts, Singapore said; "I look forward to sharing my views and ideas with the STB and industry players on trends and issues facing the rapidly changing tourism landscape. With the strong partnership between the STB and industry members, I am optimistic that a better future will be achieved for the Singapore tourism industry."

Adding on, Mr John L Sharpe, Chair, Finance Committee The Culinary Institute of America, USA, said; "Even in the midst of turmoil in many parts of the world, Singapore is really a beacon of stability. With a very credible resolve and discipline supporting its unique attractions, Singapore is well positioned at the forefront of breaking through the dissipating shadows that have overhung the world-wide tourism market in recent years. Those of us in Singapore have really an easier challenge than many of our competitors for the world travel market. We are really a better choice, in terms of the destination, in terms of substance. Our real challenge is to get that message across to our market."

In June this year, Dr Cheong Choong Kong, the former Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive of Singapore Airlines and Mr Robert Palmer, President and Chief Executive of Palmer/Rae Associates International Cultural Consultants of Belgium retired from the Council. Both Dr Cheong and Mr Palmer became IACT members in 2000.

Mr Wee said; "The STB would like to express our gratitude to Dr Cheong and Mr Palmer for their invaluable contributions. Their insightful views have helped the STB to develop compelling tourism experiences and products that meet the diverse needs of our global visitors."

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