SINGAPORE, 2 March 2023: Singapore has been certified as a sustainable destination based on the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC)’s Destination Criteria after being the first to apply the certification process on a country level.
It reflects Singapore’s efforts and commitment to becoming a sustainable urban destination.
The GSTC Criteria are the global standards for sustainable travel and tourism. Singapore was certified based on performance in four categories: sustainable management; socio-economic sustainability; cultural sustainability; and environmental sustainability.
Singapore’s achievement reflects the commitment towards the Singapore Green Plan 2030 and aligns with the Singapore Tourism Board’s (STB) Tourism Sustainability Strategy. The Tourism Sustainability Strategy was launched in 2022 and set out actionable strategies for the tourism industry so that Singapore can become a sustainable urban destination.
Singapore’s certification follows similar achievements by key tourism partners such as Sentosa Development Corporation, Resorts World Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands Singapore, which had also achieved certification based on the relevant GSTC Criteria.
Singapore Tourism Board chief executive Keith Tan said: “We are proud to receive this certification, which reflects Singapore’s commitment to the Singapore Green Plan 2030 and becoming a City in Nature, where large experiences come with a small footprint. Being certified is just the beginning of our journey. Tourism businesses must do more to internalise sustainability as part of their offerings to contribute to making Singapore greener and more liveable. Our vision is to become one of the world’s most sustainable urban destinations, and we now know we are on the right track.”
STB will continue to engage its partners, build on the destination’s existing strengths and ramp up efforts in areas of improvement. These are the highlights of Singapore’s sustainability performance across the four pillars:
Singapore is implementing multi-year strategies and action plans on sustainable management, such as the Singapore Green Plan 2030. Announced in 2021, the Green Plan charts Singapore’s ambitions and targets over the next ten years, strengthens its commitments under the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and Paris Agreement, and positions the country to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
Singapore also demonstrated efforts to maximise tourism’s social and economic benefits for locals. These include supporting and spotlighting local entrepreneurs, providing a safe and secure working environment, a user-friendly built environment, supporting career opportunities and training in tourism.
Singapore has various initiatives to conserve and enhance its tangible and intangible heritage. For example, there are legislation and conservation guidelines to protect more than 7,200 conserved buildings, entire historic districts, and national monuments.
Singapore has implemented various measures to enhance greenery, strengthen ecological connectivity between green spaces, and conserve biodiversity. For example, the OneMillionTrees movement, launched in 2020, aims to plant 1 million additional trees across Singapore by 2030.
The country also charts concrete targets and demonstrates real-world sustainability applications to manage its scarce resources. Singapore enhanced its international climate commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. It has committed to greening 80% of buildings by Gross Floor Area by 2030 and has already done so for over half of its buildings.