WHEN the downturn hit last year, the hotels and tourist attractions here hunkered down and improved on their offerings or invested in staff training.
That was why, with the economy looking up, they were all set to catch the wave: They have made their customers happier this year than last year, and there are numbers to show for it.

This is the conclusion the Institute of Service Excellence of the Singapore Management University (ISES) has drawn from its survey on consumer satisfaction - in as far as it is possible to quantify something as abstract as customer satisfaction.

The study, modelled on those done in the United States, South Korea and more than 10 European countries, put the customer satisfaction index for the tourism, hotels and accommodation services sector at 69.3 points this year, up from last year's 67.1.

The sector seems to have turned a corner after logging sliding satisfaction levels since 2007.

The star performers were The Ritz-Carlton and Mandarin Orchard hotels, which scored 83.6 and 77.7 points respectively, up from 78 and 73.5 the year before. Attractions such as Underwater World and Sentosa Development Corporation also did better, pulling the sector's overall score up.

Upturn in consumer satisfaction