In terms of our progress for this project, we have currently received survey responses from 18 hotels in total, many of which represent key players in Singapore’s hotel industry. Initially, we were a bit disappointed in our seemingly low response rate. However, after speaking to the Singapore Hotel Association last week, we were reassured that getting responses from roughly 20 hotels in Singapore would be considered successful. This discussion motivated us to approach hotels even more aggressively and helped us re-adjust our focus to target the remaining hotels that are either large in size or are well-recognized for their environmental sustainability efforts. We are optimistic that we will be able to boost our response rate over the next couple of days and that we would be able to schedule at least a few more onsite visits and interviews with industry best practice leaders, in addition to the eco-tour that we have scheduled for at the Siloso Beach Resort tomorrow.
Early this morning, the fourth and final member of the SFU team arrived in Singapore and made it just in time for our first scheduled meeting with Contact Singapore, an alliance of Singapore’s Economic Development Board and the official sponsor of our project. We arrived at their beautiful office building located in the Raffles City Tower, which had a 360 view of the city, and we were finally able to put faces to those we had been in regular correspondence with over the past couple of months – Patty Woo, Assistant Director and Lenny Azuree Ismail, Executive Officer at Contact Singapore. From being awarded the project in July, to our arrival in Singapore in September, both staff proved to be very friendly and helpful and served as an insightful resource for our project.
The purpose of this first meeting was for our team to meet and greet Patty and Lenny, and to collect our research stipend and airfare allowance – which we received in an envelope stuffed with Singaporean dollars! This meeting also provided us a chance to debrief Contact Singapore on our progress so far, discuss the main challenges that we currently face, and relay our action plan for the upcoming weeks in Singapore for completing the project. We were also excited to hear that they had scheduled a professional photo shoot for us for our next meeting (next Friday) and will be featuring us in their local magazine. Also taking place in our next meeting will be our formal presentation of the preliminary survey results, general trends and insights.
We also learned more about the types of research projects that have been awarded in the past and concurrently. We finally received some answers to the competitive nature of the winning teams, discovering that in Cycle 3, 24 teams from around the world had applied, and only 3 were chosen!The SFU team was one of these teams and being the first Canadian team selected for this initiative, Patty and Lenny expressed recognition of Canada becoming an increasingly important global partner in the business setting.