restricted access Chapter 13: Tourism 2015: Making YourSingapore
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

237 13 Tourism 2015: Making YourSingapore Harng Luh Sin Introduction In 2005, Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr Lim Hng Kiang, unveiled the Singapore Tourism Board’s (STB) bold targets for 2015. These include tripling tourism receipts to S$30 billion, doubling visitor arrivals to 17 million, creating an additional 100,000 jobs in the services sector, and launching a series of iconic projects with the aim of remaking Singapore into an appealing tourism destination with world class attractions. As Singapore edges nearer to the target year of 2015, a number of Tourism 2015’s plans have come to fruition and the landscape and skyline of Singapore have been altered by the landmark projects introduced, such as the Singapore Flyer, Marina Bay Sands (MBS) and Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) Integrated Resorts, and Gardens by the Bay (STB 2005). If we understand “landscape” to be “the territory which the eye can comprehend in a single view” (Duncan 1994: 316), Figure 1 draws attention to the iconic tourism projects that have changed the landscape of Singapore (with MBS and the Singapore Flyer seen most prominently here). The goal is to promote tourism development as part of a larger national development strategy that would fulfil Singapore’s Tourism development refers to the expansion, improvement, or refining of tourism infrastructure, businesses, attractions and/or resources. It can also refer to the state’s policies and strategies to grow its tourism industry. 13 C-Landscapes.indd 237 7/30/13 10:44:46 AM Figure 1  New additions to Singapore’s skyline with iconic projects such as the Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort and the Singapore Flyer Source: Courtesy of Alvin Tan. 13 C-Landscapes.indd 238 7/30/13 10:44:52 AM Tourism 2015: Making YourSingapore 239 aspirations to be a global city hub for economics, finance and trade. Tourism developments are changing the landscapes of Singapore as part of continuing efforts to rebrand Singapore’s entertainment, lifestyle and leisure industries for tourists and Singaporeans. This chapter asks questions about what sort of implications do such branding exercises have on the landscape of Singapore? How do branding strategies incorporate differing views or socialise people into the state’s views on what the landscape of Singapore should be like? However, “landscape” is not only what the eye can see, but also a “way of seeing” (refer to Chapter 1). As Cosgrove and Daniels (1988) highlight, landscapes are continually changing and evolving, and this means that different people can have very different ideas about the tourism landscape of Singapore, even when the physical structures they see are the same. For example, going back to Figure 1, a tourism planner may see this picture as representative of STB’s success in attracting world famous iconic projects and realising the goals of Tourism 2015. Another Singaporean looking at this photo may see it as representative of home, and yet another unexpected perspective may be that of a tourist who sees Figure 1 as evidence of a homogenising world shaped by globalisation, where no matter which city one visits, he or she encounters similar skyscrapers, bright lights and international brand names (see Chang and Huang 2011). This chapter thus highlights the tensions arising from the different interpretations of Singapore’s tourism landscape. The chapter first contextualises Singapore’s tourism development in the literature on global cities and urban policy mobilities. Second, it discusses the tourism policies that have impacted the changing landscapes of Singapore. The third section addresses the tensions that arise from the development of spectacular tourism landscapes by highlighting two case studies on integrated resorts in the MBS and RWS, and the Formula One Singtel Singapore Grand Prix (F1). These case studies are selected as they are amongst the most significant tourism projects introduced in Singapore since the Tourism 2015 targets were announced (others include the revamping of Orchard Road, Singapore River and Clifford Pier, the Helix Bridge, and Gardens by the Bay). Furthermore, they represent the largest scale developments in tourism infrastructure (MBS and RWS) and events (F1) in recent years, both in terms of investments and revenues grossed. Landscape, Tourism and the Global City When landscape is discussed in tourism studies, it is typically depicted as a resource or value that has the potential to attract tourists (see Barsham and 13 C-Landscapes.indd 239 7/30/13 10:44:52 AM Harng Luh Sin 240 Hitchcok 2012; Scaramellini 1996). This echoes ideas of how landscape in tourism can be seen as an object...


pdf