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Tourism and the Arts: A View from Singapore

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Since 1988 the authorities in Singapore have been actively seeking to encourage the arts and increase their significance for residents as well as tourists, aiming to establish Singapore as a “global city for the arts.” The article examines the history of recent government interest in the arts, the agencies involved, and aspects of presentation and promotion. Official policy is seen to have been informed by various views of the arts as a creative activity, a commercial enterprise, and a tourist attraction with considerable success achieved in the past decade. However, the arts are also recognized as a tool in the process of nation building and the forging of a common identity in a country that has only existed since 1965 and has an ethnically diverse population. Now that the material aspirations of residents have been largely met, other needs are being expressed and the government is responding by fostering the arts within the multicultural context of Singaporean society. There is some potential for tension and conflict amongst these demands being made upon the arts and issues emerge about the arts as an expression of cultural heritage, their relationship with society, the individual and the state, and the role of tourism. The article raises several questions and presents some preliminary observations, as well as suggesting the need for and direction of further research.
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Keywords: Key words: The arts; National identity; Tourism pr

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Publication date: 2001-01-01

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  • Tourism, Culture & Communication is international in its scope and will place no restrictions upon the range of cultural identities covered, other than the need to relate to tourism and hospitality. The Journal seeks to provide interdisciplinary perspectives in areas of interest that may branch away from traditionally recognized national and indigenous cultures, for example, cultural attitudes toward the management of tourists with disabilities, gender aspects of tourism, sport tourism, or age-specific tourism.
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