The Business of Happiness: Celebrity goes undercover as a difficult hotel guest

The Business of Happiness: Celebrity goes undercover as a difficult hotel guest

Passionate hotel employees in ‘difficult’ situations, the content of a video when a Singapore celebrity Michelle Chong goes undercover as a  hotel guest to ‘test’ employees.

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has launched the Celebrity Hotel Challenge video – featuring local celebrity Michelle Chong as a hotel guest – to showcase the passion and professionalism of hotel employees, and raise awareness of the variety of jobs within the hotel industry.

In the video, Michelle Chong dons a disguise and checks into Pan Pacific Singapore. She plays the role of a VIP, and asks the unsuspecting hotel employees to attend to various requests, ranging from changing the colours of the lights in the hotel room to booking the entire swimming pool for herself. These requests were culled from real life examples in the hotel industry.

Except for senior management, none of the employees were aware of her true identity until the end of the video. Watch the video, which is part of the Business of Happiness hotel careers campaign launched last July, at to find out what happens.

“The Business of Happiness hotel careers campaign is about changing perceptions that people may hold about working in the hotel industry,” said Ms Ong Huey Hong, Director, Hotels and Sector Manpower, STB. “We hope that through this light-hearted depiction of the daily work of hotel employees, people would be more aware that hospitality goes beyond manning the front desk or housekeeping. Every day brings exciting new experiences, and employees get to interact with guests from all walks of life regularly. Passion is the driving force in the Business of Happiness.”

Mr Gino Tan, Area General Manager, Singapore, and General Manager, Pan Pacific Singapore, said: “As seen in the video, handling varied requests from guests is part and parcel of the daily work in a hotel. We’re thrilled to partner STB in their latest initiative under the Business of Happiness hotel careers campaign as we felt that the video would be a great platform to show how interesting a career in the hotel industry is, and entice jobseekers to join the industry.”

The Business of Happiness

Launched in July last year, the three-year Business of Happiness hotel careers campaign aims to raise awareness of the career paths and progression in the hotel industry, and inspire Singaporeans to develop their passion for hospitality. STB has partnered the Singapore Hotel Association, Food, Drinks and Allied Workers Union and the hotel industry for the campaign.

The campaign highlights stories of happiness created and cherished by both hotel employees and guests, and through these stories, improves perceptions of the hotel industry. It is targeted at people with an interest in hospitality, be they students, early-career workers, mid-career workers or even experienced workers.

In the first year of the campaign, STB partnered over 20 hotels to organise the Open Hotels Weekend and the Work-for-a-Stay programme, where participants were given a behind-the-scenes tour of hotels and a chance to work in a hotel in exchange for a complimentary stay respectively.

100 Ambassadors of Happiness

In the next phase of the campaign, 100 hotel employees – spanning front office operations, food and beverage, and sales and marketing – will be the face of the hotel industry. They will share heart-warming stories of their experiences on social media and with jobseekers during recruitment events.

Kicking off the campaign this month are four ambassadors featured in advertising panels at public transport nodes, such as MRT stations and bus stops, as well as on the website. For more information about these four ambassadors, please refer to the Annex.

Other ambassadors and their stories will be unveiled progressively through the year. To learn more about the campaign, please visit


General Manager, Orchard Parade Hotel

Kris joined the industry as a sales and public relations coordinator nearly two decades ago, and set her sights on becoming a general manager.

As one of the few women to helm this role, she hopes to inspire other women to follow in her footsteps.

Her advice for newcomers? “It’s a people industry, and having the right attitude and passion (heart) is important… I’m proud of where I am now, but there’s still a lot for me to learn and understand about the industry.”