THE NATIONAL Trades Union Congress (NTUC) launched yesterday Singapore’s first-ever Tourist Guide Chapter to safeguard the rights and advance the interests of licensed tour guides in the country.
The professional chapter aims to tackle the menace of illegal tour guides (TTG Asia e-Daily, May 30, 2012) and raise industry standards through development programmes, while looking at ways to attract senior citizens and housewives re-entering the workforce to join the profession.
An MOU was signed at the launch by NTUC, Raffles Medical Group and Q&M Dental Group to provide chapter members with healthcare and insurance benefits not previously available to them.
Placed under the auspices of the Attractions, Resorts and Entertainment Union, the chapter has so far enlisted over 300 members, a figure anticipated to grow in the near future. Currently, some 2,300 tour guides are licensed to work in Singapore.
Jean Wang, honorary secretary of the 400-member Society of Tourist Guides Singapore, welcomed NTUC’s move to step up as an advocate for licensed tour guides in the country.
“We both share a common objective – to improve the welfare of (licensed) tour guides. Together, we can press the government for a change in legislation to improve working terms and conditions for our members,” she said.