1st Vice President Singapore Hotel Association, Mr Albert Teo
Chairman, National Crime Prevention Council, Mr Tan Kian Hoon
Ladies and Gentlemen
A warm welcome to all at the 16th Hotel Security Conference 2011. Through close collaboration between the Singapore Hotel Association, National Crime Prevention Council and the Singapore Police Force, this annual conference has become a key industry event for hoteliers to gather to take stock of security concerns faced by the hotel industry. It is a useful platform to share our insights on security concerns and learn from one another’s experiences. The Home Team, especially the Singapore Police Force will also use the opportunity to share new security developments and relevant issues of concerns that will be of interest to the hotel industry.
The Need to be Vigilant
2. The tourism and hotels industry is an important contributor to Singapore’s economy. The tourism industry in Singapore has continued to enjoy buoyant growth in the first five months of 2011. Total visitor arrivals received was more than 5.2 million visitors, a growth of 15% over the same period last year.
3. Singapore has also maintained its spot as one of the Top Five Convention Cities in the world, and managed to retain its position as Asia's Top Convention City for the 9th consecutive year. This is not by chance. We have remained an attractive destination for international conferences because our city is safe and secure. We owe it to the collective effort of the industry who appreciates the value of being vigilant against both crimes and terrorism, and make a proactive effort to work with the security agencies on hardening our premise so that travellers have a piece of mind when they come to Singapore.
Hotel Security Manual
4 To ensure that hotel security practices are up to date, the Singapore Police Force has recently updated the Hotel Security Manual to include relevant criteria from the Singapore Standard for Hotel Security: SS545, as well as made references to the Private Security Industry Act. To ensure that you are updated with the enhancements, the Singapore Hotel Association will be distributing a CD version of the updated manual to its members.
Hotel Security Awards: incorporating Singapore Standard for Hotel Security: SS545
5 Another important step towards inculcating security consciousness and practices was the inclusion of the Singapore Standard for Hotel Security: SS545 last year in the annual Hotel Security Awards. SS545 defines key processes and infrastructure that equips hotels with capabilities for crisis response.
6 I am pleased that the number of participating hotels in the Hotel Security Awards has grown to 67 hotels; with close to 30 hotels having in place high compliance with the SS545 standards. This year saw an additional 10 hotels having high compliance with the SS545 standards compared to last year. It is heartening that the hotel industry is committed to the security of their guests and met the stringent criteria, which includes scrutiny of the hotels’ physical security, contingency preparedness, training and security processes.
7 These hotels appreciate that with the demand arising from the aggressive promotion of Singapore for Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibition or “MICE” activities, and the holding of the events such as the F1 Grand Prix, security-consciousness can be a way to differentiate themselves. As travellers become more savvy, they will seek out destinations and hotels with a good record of security. With these encouraging results, I certainly hope that it will spur the rest of the industry to do more. However, having the Hotel Security Manual and the Hotel Security Standard are just the basics; what is more important is for everyone to put these standards into practice and stay vigilant.
8 In conclusion, I commend the continued commitment and the spirit of collaboration among our hotels to enhance security. Singapore has continued to dramatically transform itself in the last few years to become a truly world class tourist destination and convention city. Without your hard work, support and leadership, much of our country’s recent achievements would not have been possible.
9 I am confident that this conference will allow you to exchange useful ideas on how to make Singapore an even safer and more secure place for all.
10 On this note, I wish you a pleasant and fruitful conference. Thank you.