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Tourism is a large growth sector in the global economy. The industry plays a vital role in enhancing a country's trade performance. Many governments have sought to improve their competitive position with respect to the global tourism market.
Singapore has developed rapidly in various social and economic fields over the last three decades. Tourism development is the fastest and most interesting aspect of economic development in the country. Singapore Tourism Board (STB) estimates that tourist arrivals will reach 17 million by 2015. The main competitive advantage is due to Singapore's geographical location that makes her a natural hub for travelers between Europe and Australia. With intense competition from neighboring countries such as Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand, Singapore faces a formidable task of achieving its target by 2015.
This research is designed to provide understanding on the marketing of Singapore as a premier tourist destination; the findings in this study will provide improvement in formulating appropriate tourism marketing strategies for Singapore.
Singapore travel and tourism is managed a government body - Singapore Tourism Board. According to STB, tourism industry contributes 3% to Singapore's GDP and generates more than S$12 billion in tourism receipts. The Singapore tourism board declares that Singapore stands out in so many ways from other countries in the region. Singapore is known to the world as an economic miracle. Today, it is one of the well - wheeled travelers' favorite destinations, because it is able to balance the modern and traditional culture. It is the most cosmopolitan city in south East Asia (Kolb, 2006).
Tourism is important to the Singapore economy. It spans across a wide range of services sectors such as food and beverage, hospitality, retail, exhibitions and conventions, arts and entertainment, cruise and transport. Collectively, tourism contributes 10% directly and indirectly to Singapore's GDP and accounts for 7% of the local workforce.
Compared with other selected Asia pacific destinations, Singapore has significantly larger shares of markets like Indonesia, India Australia, and Malaysia. Singapore's shares of the Chinese and south Korean markets are likely to make further gains. (World Travel and Tourism Council, 2002)
A sharp decline in the visitor arrivals was registered for the year 2009. This decline is likely to be the result of the global economic slowdown, as well as rising inflation and oil prices, which may have impacted consumers' discretionary spending (STB, 2009). The decline in visitor arrivals in 2008 and 2009 reflects the challenging global economic environment and outlook for the tourism sector, which may continue into 2010.
A preliminary review of the literature is presented as above. In addition, the literature review covers a review of significant current writings and research in the field of tourism industry so as to obtain the perspective from analysts.
This research is designed to address the marketing of Singapore as a premier tourist destination and to suggest a marketing framework and to formulate appropriate tourism marketing strategies for Singapore. In the recent years, tourism industry in Singapore has shown strong growth. The main objectives of this study are as follows:
- To investigate the factors that affect destination marketing in Singapore.
- To identify factors that contributes to the attraction of tourists to Singapore.
- To formulate effective marketing strategies to achieve the objective set for 2015.
The cost of living is very high in Singapore. Like Singapore, countries like Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia and other countries are also attracting the tourists to their countries. The cost of living is low when compared to Singapore in those countries. Therefore this study will include the following questions:
- What is the global imagination of Singapore as a tourist destination?
- How to attract the tourists to Singapore?
- How to increase their length of stay in Singapore?
- What is the role of Singapore government in the development and organization of the tourism industry?
- What are the critical factors of destination marketing success, their identification and integration?
This project will begin by introducing the tourism industry followed by literature review relevant to the project. Primary and secondary data will be used for the analysis of the tourism industry. The collected primary and secondary data will then be analyzed and evaluated with respect to current trend in the industry. Research design can be thought of as the structure of research that holds all the elements in a research project together. The following Figure shows how the research questions are organized. With the help of the research question Q1, the global imagination of Singapore will be identified. Research question Q2 helps us to know the factors that attract tourists to Singapore are identified. Research question Q3 helps us to understand how to increase tourist length of stay in Singapore. In the same way research question Q4 concerned with what the government did for the development and organization of the tourism industry to attract the tourist. Finally research question Q5 helps to formulate the strategies by considering the critical factors of destination marketing.
DATA COLLECTION METHODS
In order to identify the patterns of behaviors and preferences of the tourists, surveys (i.e. with a sample size of 50) were conducted with the tourists visiting Singapore. The intent of the sample frame is to represent the majority of the tourists, who are visiting Singapore. Tourists were randomly intercepted throughout Singapore from late December of 2009 through early January of 2010. Surveys were randomly distributed at these three main locations: the Singapore Changi Airport (46.7%), the Sentosa (23.3%) and along the Orchard Road (30.0%). The potential survey respondents were filtered based on a series of introductory questions in order to establish that they were non-residents and they were at least young adults.
In addition, the surveys also included questions concerning the socio-economic profile of the tourists as well as questions about their travel behaviors and the destination images of the tourists.
DATA ANALYSIS METHODS
Generally there are two methods of data collection. One is quantitative and the other one is qualitative. Qualitative methods normally refer to information gathered from small group of target audiences to understand their feelings and insights together (Hall, 2000). Techniques such as in-depth interviews, participant observation and group interviews are adopted. In other words, it is the study of group of people leading to the understanding of how community works. Qualitative method helps us to get the open ended answers through interviews than yes or no responses. There is no need to do statistical tests in this method since it is more personal. Qualitative methods are used to explore the meaning and to investigate the issues which are difficult to measure (Chon, 2000). In general, only a small group of people are selected from large population therefore the generalization cannot be achieved. Question of objectivity arises since the qualitative study requires justification from the researcher. As such, many marketing research executives choose quantitative approaches that focus on fact rather than subjective opinions.
Quantitative data generally involve statistical analysis and in this method the information will be gathered from many members of the target population that can be quantified and projected to represent the target population. These methods rely on numerical evidence to test hypothesis. Here large number of population would be surveyed to test the significance of topic (Brunt, 1997). It is very easy to draw conclusion in this method with the help of statistical analysis. Since large numbers of population are surveyed there would be a greater degree of confidence when compared to qualitative methods. Finally data are summarised and analysed with the help of computer software. This method is more impersonal.
And in this research study, quantitative techniques were the main approach taken to solicit data from the field. The use of quantitative data ensured a balance between various variables and conceptualization of the available statistical figures. However the adoption of qualitative methods helped in increasing understand ability of the specific situation as it mostly involved non-numerical information such as experiences, opinions, feelings and knowledge of various respondents. Quantitative methods mostly included numerical information such as number of tourist arrivals, the percentage of medical tourists, revenue generation, and cost comparisons. The representative of the population will be under consideration since the sample is large. The time required for this method is less when compared to qualitative method. There will be a degree of confidence.
The final report project will consist of the following sections:
- Literature Review
- Project Objectives
- Research Questions
- Research Design
- Data Collection Methods
- Data Analysis Methods
- Conclusions & Recommendations