Tourism stakeholders to look at Singapore model
Local tourism stakeholders in both the public and private sectors will be seeking to borrow from the experiences of Singapore when they participate in a Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) organized, half-day forum next week.
The event, entitled The Singapore Tourism Experience, will introduce participants to best practices in the south-east Asian island state.
“Singapore offers one of the best business environments in the world and is fast emerging as a choice destination for the development of iconic tourist attractions. It also offers a dynamic tourism landscape and is constantly evolving to stay compelling and remain relevant as a tourist destination,” said Bonita Morgan, the CTO’s director of resource mobilization and development.
“This forum offers an ideal occasion for sharing, learning and discussion among all tourism industry stakeholders.”
Organized in partnership with the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association, the forum will examine six main areas relating to Singapore’s strategic approach to tourism. These include planning and development, product development, partnerships, investment and financing, marketing and education and training.
It will be led by Christopher Khoo, a senior tourism consultant at International Business Dynamics (iBusiness), a Singapore training and consultancy firm that specializes in trade and economic development, investment promotion and tourism development.
Khoo, who has undertaken many international tourism projects in the Abu Dhabi, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Russia, Uzbekistan and Singapore, said he plans to highlight the similarities between Singapore and Barbados.
“Both are islands, both are former English colonies, both surrounded by larger islands. What I’m looking to show is where Singapore is from a tourism perspective and to show it can be done, it has been done and to show some examples of how we can achieve this,” said Khoo, who spent 15 years with the Singapore Tourism Board in many key positions, including Regional Director United Kingdom/Ireland covering also the Benelux and Scandinavian countries.
He also served as Regional Director Germany covering also Switzerland, Austria and the countries of the former Soviet Union, Director of Industry Development, Director of Competitive Intelligence.
“In Singapore we’ve made it a practice to look around the world for best practices and I will show how Singapore has used this process to develop the cruise industry, the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Events markets, the cruise industry, and how it can apply to Barbados. I’d like to see something more done with your history, your rum; these are ideas that can resonate,” he added.
Barbados received over 550,000 cruise passengers in 2014. The tourism development expert said he plans to explore ways for local businesses to extract more from cruise.
He will also share insights into Singapore’s hotel industry, some of the early problems encountered by this sector and what was done to overcome these problems and grow the sector.
“This can give ideas to your hotel association on certain things that can be done at the local level,” Khoo said.
The forum on The Singapore Tourism Experience takes place on Friday 17 July from 9:00 to noon at the Radisson Aquatica Resort in Barbados, and follows a four-day workshop on Developing Viable and Sustainable Tourism Products using the Singapore Tourism Model.
The programme also includes informative and thought-provoking discussions from a panel of tourism experts, led by the CTO’s secretary general, Hugh Riley and will afford the audience and opportunity to engage with Mr. Khoo and the panel regarding the topics being discussed.
For more information, including how to register, please visit www.onecaribbean.org.