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Tourism Board gets tougher with errant retailers

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has announced that it is taking tougher actions against errant retailers who repeatedly subject tourists to their unethical retail practices.

STB has received over 800 complaints from the 8 million tourists we received last year, of which more than 50% were retail-related, with a high proportion of cases coming from the electronic goods sector.

As a ratio to the number of visitors, the number of complaints we have received is not large, but every complaint received is one case too many.

Since June 2003, letters from STB have been sent to over 50 retail establishments that have been complained against by tourists, to inform them of possible blacklisting.

The first ‘blacklist’ will be carried in the October issues of publications such as The Real Destination Singapore brochure and the Official Map of Singapore. It will also publish the blacklist monthly on STB’s website,

Information on errant retailers will also be made available on a monthly basis at the Singapore Visitors Centres and through the Touristline at 1800-736 2000.

STB has taken over the responsibility of the handling of complaints against retailers by tourists from the Retail Promotion Centre since May 2003, and has been representing tourists at the Small Claims Tribunals.

A special hotline number, 1800-736 3366, has been set up recently to assist tourists who have had bad experiences during their stay in Singapore.

Elaborating on STB’s decision to take a tougher stand against errant retailers, Mr Lim Neo Chian, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive of the STB said “We are very committed to ensuring visitors have a memorable stay in Singapore and are serious about addressing the problem of errant retailers. Each year, the Board spends millions of dollars encouraging and attracting people from around the world to visit Singapore for amongst other things, the warmth and friendliness of Singaporeans. Our reputation as a fun and friendly city-state is at stake if errant retailers are allowed to continue unethical retail practices; causing grievance to visitors.”

Recently, the Board went as far as assisting an Australian tourist to lodge a civil suit against the House of Cameras and Electronics Pte Ltd, a retailer located at Lucky Plaza Shopping Centre. STB received more than 40 complaints against this shop in 2002 and over 15 complaints from January to August 2003.

STB is also looking forward to the proposed Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act, which aims to make it easier for consumers, including tourists, to obtain civil remedies should they encounter unethical practices by retailers.

In addition to the new measures which aim at reducing the number of errant retailers, the Board will also assist tourists in making more informed decisions when shopping for electrical and electronic products among other consumer goods in Singapore.

A Marketing and Tourist-education campaign will be launched in October 2003 by STB’s Tourism Shopping division. The campaign will focus on disseminating information such as shopping tips and recommended shopping destinations for electrical and electronic goods.

Source: Singapore Tourism Board Media Release 17 Sep 2003



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Writer's Talk 2003 - K.S. Maniam  9 Oct 2003

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The Vagina Monologues 28 Oct - 2 Nov 2003

HOME at Sculpture Square  30 Oct - 21 Dec 2003

Land Of Joy  6 - 30 Nov 2003

Clay Sculptures by Jacqueline Ng  7 - 10 Nov 2003

Ling Chung The Dragon - by Tam Tam Theatre (London)  4-14 Dec 2003

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7 October 2003

Singapore Time