HOTELS & TOURISM | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Out with the old: Trade minister urges hoteliers to retrofit

They can avail of STB's new time-limited retrofitting grant.

It is in with the new for older hotels in Singapore as Trade Minister S Iswaran urged them to undergo retrofitting in the hopes of raising the industry's productivity.

Speaking at the launch of Hotel Transformation Roadmap, the trade minister said the only sustainable way to address manpower crunch is to raise productivity levels systematically through infrastructure and process redesign.

Citing a survey by Singapore Hotel Association, he stated that 30 hotels highlighted that their existing building structures have constrained them in adopting productive technologies and redesigning processes.

"On the other hand, our newer hotels have been able to optimise their physical layout from Day 1," Mr. Iswaran noted.

He mentioned that the Singapore Tourism Board has launched a new-time limited retrofitting grant in April this year for older hotels to redesign their existing premises and implement productivity-enhancing solutions.

"I strongly urge all our hoteliers to tap on this hotel retrofitting grant," he said.

One such hotelier working with STB is Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, which is currently undergoing a retrofitting project for its kitchen and Horizon Club Lounge.

Meanwhile, the trade minister mentioned the collaboration of STB and Workforce Singapore (WSG) with McKinsey & Company in developing Lean Hotel Initiative, which will commence in 1Q17.

"This 4-month programme will guide hotels in identifying and implementing productivity initiatives through a ‘field-and-forum’ approach comprising classroom training in lean operations complemented with on-the-job coaching by McKinsey consultants," he explained.

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