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Introduction of Cultural Tourism

With many research perspectives that are evolving, the definition of cultural tourism will vary in line with the expanding horizon of knowledge in cultural tourism. However, the technical definition of cultural tourism indicates the movement of persons to specific recognised cultural attractions such as heritage sites, artistic and cultural manifestations, arts and drama outside their natural habitat. Conceptually, it is the movement of persons to these cultural attractions away from their normal place of residence, only with the intention to gather new information and gain experience to satisfy one’s cultural needs. Marciszewa (2001), indicates that there needs to be desire alongside motivation when travelling to a particular destination – Culture represents the past practices of one’s society, its treasured material items/objects, various customary beliefs and significant social roles that are passed down from generation onwards.

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According to South China Morning Post, it states that culture plays an important role in promoting tourism for Singapore. However, not enough is exposed to showcase Singapore true and authentic cultural aspects. By promoting the cultural unique points through not only the physical buildings but much more, it will help attract to a diverse group of tourist to the country and strengthen the the countries identity as ‘more than a business city’


Thus, the report will showcase Singapore’s authentic image of cultural tourism, rather than the commercialised view in which Singapore Tourism Board (STB) focuses more attention on. This will look into aspects of  not only the cultural sites but as well as proposing events and festivals which are not well-recognized or pushed fully by STB. Examples of these local sites in Singapore would be both attraction buildings as well as the cultural practices or performing arts of Singapore . Heritage buildings: Peranakan Museum and Li Si She Shut and the different Temples. Performing Arts: Chinese Puppetry, showcase Hindu practice of firewalking, Food Festivals, Cultural Events such as Chingay, Kuda Kepang, Holi Festivals, Mid-Autumn Festival and Chinese Opera and Holi Festival,.


To conclude, the aim of the report is to showcase not just the common tangibles that can be seen along the streets of Singapore (Temples, Mosque, Churches, Heritage Sites or Museums) but also live events/shows/festivals that can create an experience of the local culture in Singapore. Lastly, also how to enhance these form of tourism not diminishing its authenticity but instead, making it more REAL and a ‘hot tourism’ for our target market.


2. Target Market (Profile and Motivations)


Our target market will cater to non-asian market in Europe countries; allocentric millennials (Born between 1980-2000s). These millennials in Europe are culturally and educationally motivated to travel to the different cultural attractions in Singapore. They are also highly tech-savvy as we want them to spread the beauty of Singapore’s culture through social media as well as execute their drive in learning about a destination.


We have decided to use the non-asian market as they have a larger motivational drive to find out more about Singapore’s asian diversity culture, as they are completely unaware about the content and history of Singapore’s asian identity. This way, they will seek and be able to learn something that is not common in their country of origin, making it more interesting.


3. Findings


3.1. Justifications or competitive advantage of Singapore for the proposed special interest tourism


Having a unique Identity (Multicultural)


According to The Straits Time titled ‘Arts, culture and a distinct Singaporean identity’ – A civilisation is defined as much by its arts and culture as it is by its technology, its power or its prosperity. It is said that Singapore is a multi racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural society and that is a strength that is able to uphold ‘Cultural Tourism’. The aim is mainly integration instead of having to be assimilation and that is why Singaporeans are encouraged that each race should preserve its unique culture and traditions, while fostering mutual appreciation and respect among all of them, keeping in mind that they should always allow expansion. In fact, we are known to have so many different racial groups in our country, even foreign countries know that.


So the question that can be answered is ‘Why should travellers come here to know about the Malay/Chinese identity and not go to the country of origin of these cultural roots that offer such rich content instead?’. Well, it is a fact that our country is known for multiple merge racial groups that creates that scent of uniqueness. Take for example, the Peranakans. The term Peranakan refers to the individuals who are of mixed malay and chinese that practice certain similar aspects in the way of life. One unique factor that pulls out the Peranakan culture would be their food and their bright colored Kebayas that have different meanings and stories to be told. In Singapore, the Peranakan Museum is still standing strong, ever ready to portray its story and history to travellers around the world. Not to forget, we also have the Eurasians who consists of the Dutch and Portuguese (Kristang) that brings out Singapore to another level, as well as other mixed races that creates a strong bond and unity in our country. Thus, this is something special about Singapore’s multi-racial culture and is why travellers should come to Singapore.


Portrayal of cultural identity


This then looks at showcasing the cultural aspects of the different racial groups and their culture. Another competitive advantage of Singapore is being able to commemorate the racial groups through a well known parade called Chingay Parade. The word Chingay means “the art of different costumes and parade”. Till date, Chingay is known as a uniquely Singaporean tradition, held during the first weekend of the Lunar New Year. This yearly street parade is now a well-known national practice, celebrated by Malays, Chinese, Indians and Eurasians alike, which basically to provide a show that can be appreciated by portraying no barriers in terms of differences. Instead it is uplifting Singapore’s different culture.


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