Promotion of Sustainable Tourism

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					                                                          Promotion of Sustainable Tourism 1

World Tourism Organization


Promotion of Sustainable Tourism

Kaye Malenfant

Radnor High School

Singapore and its Place in the Development of Sustainable Tourism

       An economic powerhouse in the East Asia and Pacific Region, Singapore has a stake

in developing sustainable tourism on both a domestic and international scale. With an

estimated population of 4.59 million, an annual growth of 4.3% (“Development”,) and

tourism generating 12% of the GDP, Singapore will need to perfect its tourism sector in

order to meet both demand for jobs and the interest in Singaporean culture that has

emerged with its economic success. Therefore, it must implement a sustainable tourism

policy that takes into consideration the World Tourism Organization’s recommendations

for sustainable development. As indicated in a WTO publication discussing sustainable

development in 2004, these recommendations include making optimal use of

environmental resources, respecting the socio-cultural authenticity of host communities,

and ensuring that long-term economic operations provide socio-economic benefits to all

stakeholders (Sustainable Tourism). Already highly conscious of the importance of the

topic, Singapore has taken steps to ensure that it enacts a sustainable tourism policy that

encourages healthy growth of the tourism sector.

Singapore and its Policies and Actions Regarding Sustainable Tourism

       The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is responsible for sustainable tourism on the

national level. The planning and management of sustainable resources, necessary in the

evaluation of eco-tourism potential, lies with other agencies such as the Urban
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Development Board, National Parks Board, and National Heritage Board. The Singapore

Tourism Board follows the direction of the larger strategic framework called the Tourism

21 blueprint. Under the Tourism 21 blueprint, the STB creates development strategies that

address the sustaining of cultural and social responsibility and the conservation of national

heritage. Accordingly, they have targeted developmental programs, enhancement of

cultural heritage zones, agro tourism, and development of nature-based tourism as major

areas in promoting sustainable tourism. Targeting these areas has allowed Singapore to

make significant steps toward achieving sustainable tourism. Particularly, the

establishment of the Tour of Pulau Ubn, Bird watching in Sunghei Reserve, and trekking

Bukit Nature Reserve demonstrate Singapore’s gearing of activities for both sustainable

tourism and eco-tourism. While eco-tourism was decided by the Nature Conservation

Working Committee of the Singapore Green Plan to not be “indiscriminately promoted,” it

still has prospered enough to display Singapore’s clean and green reputation (“Sustainable

Tourism”). Also, it has made for an increased focus on the cultivation of an educational

market segment that leads to a new generation of visitors with better appreciation

Singapore’s nature and culture.

Singapore’s Suggestions and Action Plan

       Domestically, Singapore has balanced national development and preserving a

natural heritage for present and future tourists; however, Singapore must make sure to

build its capacity and be sensitive to promoting nature-based activities, and also maintain

its admirable progress in promoting sustainable tourism. For the building of capacity,

Singapore’s leaders must educate in regards to the developing of nature-based tourism by

stressing its lack of natural resources and increasing awareness of Singapore’s clean
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nature. Also, Singapore could benefit from legislature that would encourage developing

sustainable tourism, along with inter-governmental alliance that would help the

government to act in unity and so create more effective measures.

       On the international level, Singapore stresses education and awareness in the

developing of sustainable tourism. Specifically, Singapore promotes the creation of

sustainable tourism boards and the creating of blueprints according to a country’s

resources and needs, as such measures would benefit the global community. The STB and

the Tourism 21 blueprint have allowed sustainable tourism to grow and achieve success in

Singapore, and organizations and strategies such as these of Singapore could likely help

other nations to do the same regarding their own tourism policies.
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    “Background Notes: Singapore.” Bureau of East Asian Public Affairs. US State

       Department. 12 October 2008.


    “Concepts and Definitions.” Sustainable Development of Tourism. United Nations

       World Tourism Organization. 10 Oct. 2008


    “Sustainable Tourism.” United Nations Division for Sustainable Development.

        UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. 17 Oct. 2008.


    “2008 Primer: Singapore.” Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery. The

        World Bank. 11 Oct. 2008.



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