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Bidding for World Heritage: Singapore's Botanic Gardens

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This article is concerned with the meanings and significance attributed to UNESCO World Heritage Sites by officials, and motivations underlying their pursuit of inscription on the World Heritage List, including perceived opportunities for tourism growth. Issues are discussed with particular reference to Singapore and the nomination of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, the first such attempt by the city-state. The concept of World Heritage and procedures are explained and the relationship between World Heritage and tourism is reviewed before consideration of circumstances in Singapore. The various roles performed by the Botanic Gardens are examined and reasons for making the bid are assessed. In Singapore, there is less emphasis on the tourism functions of World Heritage and the expected political and sociocultural returns appear more important. World Heritage is seen to be regarded as economic, sociocultural, and political capital, which is allocated different relative values depending upon wider conditions prevailing in the nominating country.
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Keywords: BOTANIC GARDENS; SINGAPORE; TOURISM; WORLD HERITAGE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2014-11-01

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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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