Tourism policies of Hong Kong & Singapore Based on the article: Wong/Bauer/Wong (2008): A criticalcomparison of tourism policies of Hong King and Singapore – An avenue to mutual learning. International Journal of Tourism Research, 10 (3), 193-206, in combination with my findings and experiences during the Study Trip 2012.
Summary of the articleO The article compares the tourism policies of Hong Kong and Singapore. Using the method of qualitative interviews, the authors examine whether or not the two government can learn from each other in order to improve their tourism policies and thus their tourism performances and competitivenesses.
Similarities of the two city states in terms of tourismO 1. The character of the destination: British colonies which offer „East meets West“ cultural experiences, shopping, dining and sightseeing as major tourism activitiesO 2. The degree of development: number of tourist arrivals, international modern airports, efficient transportation networks, world-class hotels and modern convention and exhibition facilitesO 3. The general strategic approach to development: tourism contributing to at least 5% of the respective GDPs, both governments have initiated a proactive approach to develop and support the industry.O A retrospective analysis of the tourism policies and the governements‘ visions in developing tourism and their policies, comparing:„Expanding the Horizons“ (Hong Kong) vs. „Tourism 21“ (Singapore)
Similarities in terms of tourismO Aim to establish the city states as Asia’s central destination for leisure and business visitors.O In both states tourism has been used as an economic and a socio political tool: O Singapore: racial diversity in the 1960s -> tourism as a tool to show that many cultures lived harmoniously together on an island O Hong Kong: strenghtened the cultural identity of the local population during the time when the British had to hand over ong Kong back to China in 1997.
Differences related to the vision statementO Singapore’s vision statement is broader than the one of Hong Kong’s which is „relatively vague and general“:O Singapore - Tourism 21:„To be a leading economic development agency intourism, known for partnership, innovation andexcellence.“ (https://app.stb.gov.sg/asp/abo/abo.asp)O Hong Kong – Expanding the horizons:"Our Vision is an ambitious one: To establish andpromote Hong Kong as Asias premier internationalcity, a world-class destination for leisure andbusiness visitors.“(http://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/200006/08/0608199.htm)
Differences related to the business environment Business Environment supportive in both states but:O Singapore has advantages when it Hong Kong comes to „political O Market-oriented effectiveness“ and „policy towards private approach enterprise“, quality of workforce and GDP O Tourism product growth. developmentO Singapore Tourism follows the demand- Board-> lot of efforts in attracting supply mechanismtourism-related companies-> stimulation of thedevelopment of newattractions
Differences related to public private cooperationSingapore Hong KongO „Strategic O Market-led pragmatism“: approach: private Government sector as the main intervenes to mover of the correct market economy failures. O Positive changesO Proactive and since 1997 (e.g. anticipative Disneyland) O Still relatively reactive
Results of the guided interviewsHong Kong can learn from Singapore can learn fromSingapore: Hong Kong:O The proactive support that O Raising the governement offers to the entrepreneurship in the tourism industry countryO Singapore’s visionary leadership O Singapore too afraid ofO Eagerness-to-learn attitude making mistakes, shouldO Singapore’s experience in „let loose“ and cut back being a hub in the South East its stakes in the Asian region economy, learn to beO Better understanding of more market driven South East Asian outbound O Hong Kong’s experience market in dealing with theO Hong Kong governement too Chinese outbound dependent on the private market sector -> marketingO Liberalisation of its aviation policies
...I experiencedO Differences between the natures of both destinations are bigger than assumed: O Singapore is much more „Western“ than Hong Kong where the Chinese influence is very distinctive O E.g. Knowledge of English (English & Chinese are official languages in HKG and SIN)
Further differences in terms of the nature of the destination O Hong Kong: very dependent on the Chinese market, Chinese are the main target group (Markus Schuckert, 2012) O Singapore‘s top markets: Indonesia, China, Malaysia, Australia, India O SIN: 4.6 mio. habitants <->HKG: 7 mio. habitants O higher price level -> remarkable impact on the tourist experience
Differences related to the stage of development Environmental Smog problems in Hong Awareness (Garden Kong City) in Singapore vs.
Differences related to the stage of developmentService Orientation in SIN vs. less committment to service quality in HKG
Singapore‘s proactiveness in providing a supportive & favourable business environement... ...can be seen in the Marina Bay Sands. STB is active encouraging foreign enterprises to establish their companies in Singapore to be able to offer innovative tourist experiences
Hong Kong‘s market-oriented approach of tourism product ......can be noticedwhen comparingMacau and SentosaIsland, the respective„playgrounds“-> copy of Las Vegasvs. innovative productdevelopment onSentosa Island
Singapore‘s visionary leadership O Personalization of one‘s trip: Your Singapore http://www.yoursingapore.com/content/traveller/e n/browse/aboutsingapore/singapore-brand- story.html) -> responding to the „rise of me“ and the desire of individual fulfilment O Strategy to increase the concentration of experiences -> adheres to the „new tourist“ who is seeking the maximum of experiences and optimisation of time
Singapore‘s better understanding ofSouth East Asian outbound market... ...became very visible to me during the Night Safari: The guide of the Creatures of the Night Show welcoming guests in perfect and fluent English, Malay, Indian and Chinese
Hong Kong‘s understanding of private entrepreneurship......became visible atthe Icon Hotel O Timeless lounge O Free mini-bar O Gen Y employees O Uniforms O Indoor Garden O Innovative design
Singapore‘s fear of losing control... ...is noticeable as there are many restricitons to respect in Singapore. (Heard oppinions that Singapore is „boring“)
Singapore‘s service orientation as well asthe ability to create a central hub in South East Asia... ...results in Singapore Airlines being one of the most renowned airlines worldwide http://www.worldairlineawards.com/Awards_ 2012/yclass.htm) BUT: O Length of stay in HKG: 3.6 days <-> SIN: 2 days ) (Markus Schuckert, 2012) -> classical hub but might be also explained by the relatively high general price level
Hong Kong‘s ability to attract the Chinese marketO China is the biggest visitor source market for Hong KongO China‘s market share in Hong Kong: 67%O Chinese are the biggest spenders in Hong Kong (shopping one of the main activities) (Markus Schuckert, 2012)
Personal view: Singapore‘s advantagesO High quality of experiences (Night Safari, Marina Bay Sands, Sentosa Island: Beaches and Attractions)O Service Orientation (e.g. handling of our group at the airport)O Level of English of the population (e.g. Taxis)O Cleaniness and Food
Personal view: Hong Kong‘s advantages O Both destinations claim to be best in shopping, but Singapore cannot compete with Hong Kong‘s traditional markets, the multiplex malls and boutiques O Transportation system: efficient and cheap, e.g. Disneyland Express, Speed Boat to Macau O Whereas in Singapore everything seems to be planned in advance, it is possible to immerse into Hong Kong‘s culture O Disneyland & Ocean Park
Personal conclusionO Singapore and Hong Kong offer both overwhelming experiencesO Even though both offer a similar tourism product, there are several differences which give both their uniqueness, their own charmeO Singapore‘s organised and well planned tourism experience vs. a hustling and surprising immersion into a unique Chinese-Western cultureO Generally agreeing to the findings of the article, even though it lacks to describe the emotional part of the respective tourism experiences which is an important part for me
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