SINGAPORE - Private van operators have reportedly been touting for business
at Sentosa Beach Station, and according to a concerned member of the public, it
is getting out of hand.
Likened to vultures, the touts were described as "aggressive" and
"persistent" in pushing for tourists to take up their services, according to
Dennis, who wrote in to citizen journalism website Stomp about the issue.
According to him, there are as many as 10 private van operators touting
every night between 7.45pm to 9.45pm, especially during weekends.
The touts apparently charge each tourist $10 for a short trip between
Sentosa and VivoCity or $25 for longer distances to other destinations outside
of the island.
Concerned about the negative impression that touting might give to visitors,
Dennis said: "They can be rather aggressive and persistent in touting their
services and when the crowd dies down, most of them would position themselves
in front of the taxi stand like vultures waiting to pick on the remaining
"They spread themselves out at Sentosa Beach Station after the Songs of the Sea
performance, whereby many tourists and visitors are rushing towards the taxi
stand/monorail station," claims Dennis.
"The presence and behaviour of these private van operators at a tourist hot
spot is shocking and sends out a very bad impression of Singapore," Dennis
Dennis suspects that the touts have gone undetected because there are usually
large crowds of people at the Sentosa Beach Station and it will be hard for the
authorities to tell the touts - dressed in plain clothes - apart from the
Sentosa told AsiaOne that it is investigating the incident.
Director of Security of Sentosa Leisure Group, Mr Koh Piak Huat, said:
"Guest experience is our priority and we certainly do not condone any form of
illegal touting and harassment of our guests."
"Members of the public can approach any Sentosa staff if they encounter
such situations," he added.
The island operator also advised guests leaving Sentosa from the Sentosa
Beach Station to use the Sentosa Express or licensed bus and taxi operators.