Through the initiatives of the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and its partners, Singapore has gained global recognition as a destination replete in robust culture and diverse opportunities, making it a prime hub for leisure and business. Tourism in Singapore is paramount in underscoring her status as a vibrant global city with a propensity for attracting capital, business and talent.
STB endeavours to maintain Singapore’s status as a hive of culture and business, cementing tourism’s continued importance as an economic pillar for the nation.
We speak with Gabriel Nio and Sean Teng, two STB overseas scholars poised to make a real impact on Singapore and her visitors. They open up about the many ways the STB scholarship has helped them grow as individuals and professionals, as well as the dynamic opportunities they are excited to explore in their careers with STB.
How has your scholarship helped you to excel in your role today?
Gabriel: Being given the opportunity to study abroad has truly given me a more global perspective that I think is a plus, given that the tourism business is an inherently global one. Furthermore, on top of my mandatory internship stint in STB’s headquarters in Singapore, STB has been very accommodating of my request to do an internship at their office in New York while I was a student there.
STB Scholarship (Overseas)
Management Associate, Cruise
What are the opportunities you get to experience as an overseas scholar?
Sean: My interaction with peers from across the world has exposed me to a myriad of opportunities and perspectives. The American college system allows me to be best-placed in focusing on my career intentions in business while concurrently developing other academic interests.
Also, with STB’s regional offices situated in 21 locations across our key global markets, the opportunities to get involved with the overseas offices excites me as I get to see first-hand how STB positions Singapore’s brand across the globe.
Personally, what makes this sector dynamic and exciting?
Gabriel: Today’s travellers’ motivations, habits, and needs are constantly changing, and the tourism sector has to constantly evolve to respond to these changes. Furthermore, from a destination standpoint, Singapore has to constantly rejuvenate itself in order to remain attractive as a tourist destination.
Sean: I see tourism as a business where you get to create experiences for others. Being part of an intricate network that shapes the product of experience for others is what drew me towards this sector – what more shaping the product that is Singapore! The increasingly multi-faceted nature of the sector also means that we have a wide range of opportunities to pursue, as the tourism sector encompasses a number of different industries.
How does STB position itself to be the leader and live up to its reputation?
Gabriel: As the industry champion, there is a strong spirit of partnership and collaboration with our industry partners and tourism stakeholders at STB. Furthermore, STB is always looking at ways to use technology to create more visitor-centric experiences, and to support industry partners to further embrace technology as well.
Moreover, STB has recently adopted a new destination brand, Passion Made Possible in August 2017. The Passion Made Possible brand was launched with the aim of championing the unrivalled passion of Singaporeans in crafting, cooking, painting, designing, growing or building new experiences and sharing these experiences with tourists. It goes beyond traditional destination marketing, and adopts an inside-out approach that is authentic to Singapore while resonating with the target audience abroad too.
Sean: As a dynamic sector, each stakeholder has to react quickly to challenges as business and leisure travellers’ preferences are constantly evolving. With STB’s role and unique positioning which allows it to hold a macro-view of the sector, we need to facilitate in-depth engagement with a wide range of stakeholders in numerous industries to ensure that that our visitors have a quality Singapore experience.
Sean Teng Chi Yang
STB Scholarship (Overseas)
Undergraduate, Bachelor of Science in Hotel Administration
What are your career aspirations with the organisation? How does STB equip and enable you to achieve them?
Gabriel: I would relish the opportunity to be posted abroad to one of STB’s regional offices, and to be on the ground formulating and executing plans to raise the awareness of Singapore as a destination, as well as to develop channels to increase visitorship to Singapore.
As part of STB’s management associate programme, I am given the opportunity to do two rotations between departments at HQ and another one at the Singapore Visitor Centre. I believe this has given me a lot of exposure to different kinds of work, and an overview to what the various departments at STB do.
Sean: STB has been especially supportive of my academic interests and I am empowered to challenge myself in harnessing my business education for my future day-to-day work in STB. I am truly appreciative of their interest in developing me as an individual, beyond simply academic and professional development. With the global network and caring nature that is embedded within STB’s culture, I know that I will be able to leverage upon the unequalled opportunity to seek the mentorship from within and beyond the organisation.
What advice do you have for those exploring their scholarship options?
Gabriel: I would say be sure to choose an agency that will be a good career fit. Read up on the actual work of the agencies you are looking at, and speak to people working there to get a better idea of things. If you are sure that STB is a good fit, then do grab the opportunity to take up the scholarship.