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Opportunity for Travel Businesses in Singapore to Reinvent and Remake Themselves

Highlight from the story: There is now a strong business case for adopting sustainable practices.


Story:


Re-inventing ourselves is something some of us do in our own lives; some do it due to a need, some do it to bring revitalisation and new meaning to our lives. Perhaps similarly, re-inventing a travel business should not be something considered alien; every decade or so businesses may find themselves passed on by new trends, alienated by new generations of customers and even new regulations and legislations.


Sustainability certification offers tourism companies the opportunity to know and understand new trends and practices in the industry and an opportunity to pick up new and emerging skills.


Sustainability certification in Singapore unfortunately has not been popular all this while; it is often associated with deploying scarce resources to meet standards that is perceived as offering little value to the business. That is at least partially down to a lack of understanding of the trends that often are the backbone of the standards and also partly due to possible missing links between the business and the issues the standards are addressing. Until last year., there has been a lack of push factors like mandates and regulations that could have moved some companies in the industry to take up certification. The Singapore Tourism Board announced in March 2022 that all hotels in the country will have to have internationally recognized sustainability certification by 2030 (Mohan, 2022).



New trends can either be welcoming or threatening to a business; certification allows businesses to identify ways to manage trends and understand them operationally better. The latest trends in society and in the tourism industry warrants companies to look into ethical practices, which often are also increasingly the demands of customers.


The tourism industry here in Singapore perhaps can promote certification as an opportunity for businesses to re-invent themselves through adopting new processes or improving existing ones. Looking at certification as a process that may help the business save costs and time, and at times, the processes may add intangible value to the business. New processes may be seen as more acceptable and welcoming to certain groups of customers as they align to their beliefs and values.


Certification forces companies to look at things they have never thought of or explored before. New sustainability practices allow companies to explore new opportunities, sometimes these are opportunities otherwise not identified or available if not for certification. There is now a much stronger business case for sustainable practices and so, certification can finally shed its often not very positive image.



Reference:

Mohan, M. (2022). Hotels given target to reduce emissions by 2030 under new sustainability roadmap. Accessed: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/sustainability/hotel-stb-sha-net-zero-emissions-sustainability-roadmap-2576656

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