Singapore: From garden city to green city

Singapore: From garden city to green city

Singapore won’t settle for being just a garden city anymore. It wants to be a green city. Sustainability will be a prime reason for tourists to visit and for investors to come in and seed new green solutions for travel and tourism, say officials there.

“Tourists today are more environmentally-conscious and are looking for sustainable travel options. Our vision is to position Singapore as a top sustainable and innovative urban destination,” said Singapore’s trade and industry minister Chan Chun Sing, last week at an annual tourism industry conference.

The vision is part of a national Green Plan 2030, launched in February and spearheaded by five government ministries: education, national development, sustainability and the environment, trade and industry, and transport.

All over the world, tourism cities want to be cleaner and greener, with the pandemic flaming that desire. But there’s no simple solution, even in Singapore, as no tourism industry on its own can build a sustainable environment for visitors.

“Most destinations are not managed sustainably, primarily because they didn’t even consider it until recent years. Most municipalities spent only on promotion and left development to the private sector. This is how we got into trouble,” said Randy Durband, CEO of Global Sustainable Tourism Council. The independent organization sets global standards for sustainable travel and tourism, and helps destinations and businesses achieve those standards.

From Garden city to green city

A new study by WWF-Singapore and Accenture highlighted the need for a collective, integrated action across people, public and private sectors to create a sustainable future for all.

Singapore tourism is among those lucky few where a green government is leading the whole country in the long march towards becoming carbon neutral by the second half of the century.

In truth, even if the industry does not lift a finger, it will benefit from the Green Plan 2030.

This is an excerpt from an article by Raini Hamdi, originally published on Skift. 

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