First island destination in Asia: Sentosa is recognised globally for championing sustainability

First island destination in Asia: Sentosa is recognised globally for championing sustainability

Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) leads whole-of-island initiatives, supported by dedicated and collective efforts of island stakeholders and partners

In line with the goals of the Sustainable Sentosa strategic roadmap unveiled in 2021, the 500- hectare island resort has been certified as a sustainable tourism destination

The gold standard for sustainable tourism, the GSTC Destination Criteria (GSTC-D) of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council consists of a stringent and comprehensive set of criteria spanning Sustainable Management, Socio-economic, Cultural, and Environmental Sustainability

Singapore – Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) has been conferred the Global Sustainable Tourism Council – For Destinations (GSTC-D) certificate, affirming the organisation’s strong push for collective and collaborative whole-of-island efforts towards achieving a more sustainable Sentosa. Supported by landmark policies and programmes that preserve and enhance Sentosa’s natural and heritage assets against developmental and leisure needs, the island joins only 23 other certified sustainable destinations in the world, such as Vail, Colorado and Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Iceland, that are internationally recognised for their compliance with high social and environmental standards.

The Global Sustainability Study 2021 which surveyed more than 10,000 people across 17 countries, revealed that one-third of global consumers are willing to pay a premium for sustainable products, and sustainability was rated as an important purchase criterion for 60 per cent of consumers. To retain its competitive edge, SDC, working closely with like-minded businesses on the island, has committed to invest, innovate and transform its tourism model for meaningful long-term sustainability. During the process of the certification audit, SDC’s policies and initiatives as the island operator and developer such as the conservation of its cultural and natural sites, engagement of the business community towards lowering its environmental footprint, implementation of decarbonisation infrastructure, were benchmarked against 38 criteria and 174 indicators across four categories: Sustainable Management, Socio-economic Sustainability, Cultural Sustainability and Environmental Sustainability.

The certification to GSTC Destination Criteria also represents a significant milestone for SDC and the Sentosa Carbon Neutral Network (SCNN), a carbon neutrality-focused business alliance comprising 21 businesses and partners in Sentosa. Together with Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) which was GSTC- Destination certified and GSTC-Industry Criteria certified for its hotels in 2021, Sentosa is the first island destination in Asia to be GSTC-D certified as a sustainable tourism destination.

Randy Durband, Chief Executive Officer, GSTC, said, “Achieving this certification as a sustainable destination means that Sentosa passed stringent audits verifying its compliance with the GSTC Destination Criteria, the most widely accepted holistic standards in travel and tourism. This is an attestation to Sentosa Development Corporation’s active involvement and commitment to sustainability and reducing carbon emissions.”

Ms Thien Kwee Eng, Chief Executive Officer, SDC, said, “We are proud and heartened that Sentosa is the first island destination in Asia, together with RWS, to be certified as a sustainable tourism destination. This certification was made possible through the continued and collective efforts of SDC and the businesses on the island. As Sentosa transits towards tourism recovery, we will continue to work closely with both public and private sectors to meet the needs of travellers who have become more inclined towards sustainable offerings.”

Mr Keith Tan, Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board, said, “We congratulate SDC and the businesses on the island on achieving this globally-recognised certification. It is a boost to our vision of becoming a top sustainable urban destination and supports our tourism sustainability strategy. I hope Sentosa’s achievements will inspire other tourism businesses to do their part for sustainability.”

As a certified sustainable destination, Sentosa will continue to support the Singapore Green Plan 2030 to build a sustainable Singapore for future generations of Singaporeans and global visitors. SDC will build upon its close partnership and strong rapport with businesses on and outside the island, as well as public agencies, to launch more sustainability-focused initiatives and experiences.

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