Friday, November 27, 2009

Tomorow (2010 and beyond)

Next year is 2010, a new beginning for the next decade, and there will be a brand new Singapore which we have helped to create and contributed efforts in making it happens - 2 intergrated resorts, more P2P exchange, YOG, first Universal Studios in south east asia, Marina Bay shaping up nicely which we can be proud of, all of us will be smarter after been through and survived the financial meltdown......

So i reserve this page to focus on the next chapter of my lifestyle in the new Singapore 2010 and beyond and embracing the next 10 years of fun and meaningful things i want to do for myself, family, comdres and Singapore. cheers

Today - tourism and me (2001-2009)

The last blog of Yesterday chapter was the life circled around Industry and Me. Today from 2001 to 2009 is the life about Tourism and me. Key feature is rhe well-knitted element of friendship.

2 Must admit that I was real sad and even tears to leave SIP on the last day of 30 Dec 2000 after the stint of 33-month national service mission which brought me happiness, job satisfaction and life fulfillment. I could not control my tears running while sending Neo Chian and his wife to Shanghai Hong Qiao airport for flight to Singapore and bid them farewell. But i told myself that i need to be brave to embrace the world and life after Suzhou and my mentor-friend. I will answer their calsl and go for it without hesitation when they happen.

3 I can still remember vividly in the MPV car dr3ven by a young CSSD driver Xiao Gu (who was the one fetched me to Suzhou when I first reported to work in 1998) NC passed me a farewell gift “LKY memoir” with his personal note of appreciation to my job done for supporting him. I cherish the book and words dearly. From that moment, it meant that the SIP chapter of Singapore management had officially ended. I didn’t follow them on the same flight as he has arranged for me to start work in JTC subsidiary Ascendas China in Shanghai from 2 Jan 2001. I then started my new career in Shanghai and making many China, Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia friends.

4 More than half a year before handing over our management to the Chinese, Neo Chian, concurrently the JTC Chairman, started arranging new job at JTC, JTC subsidiary or GLC for all of us (the Singapore employees) to ensure continuity in our employment. The systematic arrangement has really helped to ease our anxiety greatly.

5 After spending some 7 months in Shanghai responsible for corporate services matters and establishing contacts in Shanghai for Ascendas China and concurrently holding a position in Singapore, my colleague and I missed Singapore and decided to return home to join the Ascendas HQ just focusing on China communications and public affairs.

6 After experiencing China, all our friends realized that thee is vast difference between working overseas and locally. Firstly, your scope of work suddenly became much smaller with little empowerment and tensions to be managed, so we all need to learn to adapt and operate within the work culture of “new” Singapore. Not easy, but afterall it is eventually adaptable and endurable. In between time, I joined the former JTC Chairman Wong to visit Suzhou for SIP International Advisory Meeting and also led a team of 6 Singapore media to SIP to report on SIP with the new Chinese management team and interviewed the well-known Vice Mayor Wang.

7 A year later, I was so glad to receive call from Neo Chian that he will be joining STB and invited me to join him there as they need my China expertise and experience. This is a brand new frontier to me as I know very little about tourism at that time besides the love for traveling and eyes for China. But, really, my Suzhou training and experience came in very handy and great help to me when I jumped into the unknown water.

8 The first major and most memorable task for me was to fly to Beijing together with a senior colleague during Sars in April 2003 to meet up with the then China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) Chairman He and Director-General Shen and to better understand China’s imposition of travel ban to South East Asia countries and explain our position as well as establishing rapports. It was not easy to secure a meeting with the Chairman, but through our network in Beijing, we managed to pull through and had a fruitful meeting with him. And in 2006 Spring, after various discussions and at the twist of moment, I helped to secure our new office to be set up in Beijing, thanks to the full support of the then CNTA DG.

9 A new encounter and a lot of things for me to learn to develop the China market to attract more Chinese and HNWIs to visit Singapore as tourism is a new growth engine for Singapore economic development. Through our contacts and networks built in Suzhou, we further chartered our education tourism drive from 2004 till now to cover Eastern, Western and Northern and Southern China with the support of Jiangsu, Suzhou, Wuxi, Shaanxi, Jilin and Fujian networks and related Singapore agencies. It is a very challenging and satisfying mission. I enjoy the journey and the process plus the friendship built along the way throughout China becomes the great asset to me and people around me.