Singapore or how to go from a transit destination to a real tourist destination

It is with the help of a trip to Singapore that I discover that it is enough of a true vision and finally of little time to make pass a country of a destination of transit to a true tourist destination. Story. By Amel DJAIT

Singapore is a rock of 42 kilometers from east to west inhabited by 5 million inhabitants (Chinese, Malay and Indian). Every year, the island recovers between 1 and 2 square kilometers on the sea and even if the The city-state is no longer the world’s leading container transhipment port, surpassed by Shanghai, and has been well prepared for this loss.

The country’s economy is based on banking and financial services (Asia’s second largest financial center after Japan), trade, shipping, tourism, shipyards and petroleum refining (the third largest refiner in the world). Long taxed as a boring city and without significant attractions, Singapore is now a tourist destination in its own right which has drained more than 16.4 million tourists in 2016. Indonesia is still the main source of visitors ahead of China, Malaysia, India and Australia. But the most important figure to remember is spending per visitor. It reached $ 24.8 billion from Singapore (around € 17 billion) in 2016. A sharp increase of 23% compared to 2015.

Tourism is at the heart of this state’s development strategy. The great strength of Singapore is to have always capitalized on its geographical position and make the most of its cultural diversity (Chinatown, Indian …). Today, the city still has as many business districts with their high towers as gardens, museums and many attractions. The city displays an airy urbanism and regulated by one of the most stringent laws in the world in terms of respect for others. Cultural and religious diversity, architecture, gastronomy and quality of hospitality make this country one of the safest values ​​of Asian tourism.

In less than a decade, the city has made drastic changes, including large-scale projects: The Marina Life Park, opened in 2012, is now one of the largest aquariums on the Asian continent. The Gardens by the Bay, a botanical garden with the largest collection of orchids in the world, not to mention the hotel, which has become a symbol or emblem of the country, the Marina Bay, a hotel that redesigns the face of Singapore with swimming pool 220 m high which allows a breathtaking 360 ° view.

The hotel rests on three towers of 55 floors overhung by the famous huge pool and a 1.2 hectare park. When the idea of ​​such a building began to sprout, the goal was to create a recognizable icon around the world. Some $ 6 billion later, the bet is won. The hotel employs more than 9000 employees and has successfully redesigned the city’s front with a casino, conference center, museums, sound and lights every night, theaters, 2500 rooms.

I knew Singapore a few years ago and I can only see how much the country has changed. Annoying 10 years ago, today he displays an exciting side he claims through a campaign “Singapore Passion”: 

A new common brand that aims to convey the values ​​of the country by meeting the new needs of travelers and businesses and enable Singapore to stand out on the international scene. This brand goes even further: “This brand goes beyond tourism, this brand is built around the values ​​we defend as a country and highlights the many stories about the destination and its people. will create deeper and more personal connections between Singapore and our different audiences even when they do not necessarily think of traveling in the immediate future.This brand is part of a strategy for quality tourism because it aimed at increasingly sophisticated and demanding tourists looking for ambitious inspirations for their next trip Singapore’s ambition is to move from an investment-based economy to an economy driven by innovation? Local and international companies are looking to create new products, services and solutions that will have a greater impact in Asia. It is time to send a clear message to companies that they can achieve this successfully here in Singapore and turn opportunities into realities. Singapore and Singaporeans are where we are today because we have always pushed the limits of what was possible and we have never accepted that constraints could prevent us from doing so, “says Dr. Beh Swan Gin, President EDB “

We could not be clearer!

It goes without saying that such results are indicative of one thing and one. With a clear vision, the fate of a destination, what to say of a tourist destination, can change and quickly.

While walking in the city, one can only wonder what is missing in Tunis to have an emblem building, to have a free sound and lights every night on one of the banks of Lake Tunis, to give Chikly a real museum, to transform the Hotel du Lac into an artistic center or first cactus connected garden in the world …

Ideas are many. Often they have been expressed by operators, visionaries, politicians, investors, but all are shattered against governance, the refusal of change and archaic laws. Is the mediocrity and under-exploitation of the full potential of Tunisia a fatality? A revolution, political and social changes, the emergence of a new ruling class and 7 years are not enough?

Returning to Singapore a question is needed: How to explain success ?. An answer, possible, that of Jacque Attali to the Journal L’Express : “First of all through extraordinary leadership, lasting for 50 years: a lucid and undisputed founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, an outstanding economic architect, Dr. Goh Keng Swee, a political philosopher, S. Rajaratnam, and a cultural and military strategist George Yeo Secondly, a policy that has been stable for 50 years, based on three principles: meritocracy (choosing the best, wherever they come from socially and ethnically), pragmatism (facing any problem, not worrying ideology and be content to adapt and reproduce the best solution applied in another country) honesty (fight ruthlessly against corruption) “.

A word of warning hello!

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