ASA justifies membership fee hike with inflation adjustments, better programmes

THE Association of Singapore Attractions (ASA) is planning to beef up its member programmes from next year on, as it moves to raise membership fees.

From 2013, entrance fees for Ordinary and Associate members will double to S$1,200 (US$983). Ordinary and Associate members will also have to fork out S$800 and S$1,200 respectively for an annual membership next year, up from the current S$600 for both.

According to a statement from ASA, Ordinary membership fee and entrance fees have not increased since 1996, while Associate membership fee was raised in 2006 from S$380 to S$600.

The statement pointed out that the rate of inflation over the past 16 years has made “running the association based on the (current) membership fees untenable”.

Speaking to TTG Asia e-Daily in an interview, ASA chairman Kevin Cheong said the membership increment would come with improved programmes and benefits.

“We have been tweaking its programmes over the past two to three years to bring more value to its members. Our master classes for members, conducted with the Singapore Workforce Development Agency over the past two years, have seen growing interest and we intend to continue offering such programmes in the coming years,” said Cheong.

ASA’s first master class in 2011, led by Tom Mehrmann, chief executive of Ocean Park Corp, saw 90 people in attendance. A session conducted in early 2012 by Bob Rogers, founder and chairman of BRC Imagination Arts, drew 130 attendees. The most recent master class, which focused on Generation Y travel consumption and buying behaviour, was attended by 160 industry players.

The association is also looking to “continually create market intelligence” for its members and “acquire greater independence by having its own staff”.

He explained: “The association’s staffing is now being outsourced and dependent on volunteers. With a full-time staff, ASA can do more and provide greater value to its members.”

“And we want to do even more in 2013. We are talking to the Singapore Tourism Board to establish a productivity standard, and with Spring Singapore (a government agency that promotes the country’s economic growth and productivity) to create an industry-wide service standard,” said Cheong.

“There are now international names in Singapore’s (attractions) industry, such as Universal Studios, so it is important that ASA brings everyone else on par with the global standard. Only with this can Singapore’s attraction owners compete on the global playing field. And with higher standards, foreign investment in Singapore’s attractions landscape will be more viable.”


Sponsored Post