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Singapore tops for attractive environment

Singapore was the highest-ranked country in Asia for its attractive environment in developing the travel and tourism industry, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said on Thursday.


The STB said the result came from the World Economic Forum's latest Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2009, which also ranked the city-state at the 10th place among 133 countries surveyed worldwide.


Improving six places from its overall ranking last year in the 2008 report, Singapore was placed first for its policy environment, indicating that its rules and regulations are highly conducive to the development of its travel and tourism industry, the STB said.


"We are pleased to have improved our ranking," said STB's director of strategic planning John Gregory Conceicao, adding that "it will in turn strengthen our efforts to ride out the current downturn and position ourselves for future growth."


The STB recently rolled out the Building On Opportunities to Strengthen Tourism (BOOST) initiative of a 90 million Singapore dollars (about 60 million U.S. dollars) for the tourism sector. BOOST includes measures such as "2009 Reasons to enjoy Singapore", the STB's global marketing campaign that aims to drive demand for travel to Singapore, as well as enhanced funding support for tourism businesses and training schemes to raise the skills and service excellence of tourism workers in Singapore.


The STB earlier expected that in 2009 visitor arrivals will decline to between 9 and 9.5 million, and tourism receipts will be in the range of 12 to 12.5 billion Singapore dollars (8 to 8.3 billion U.S. dollars).


(Xinhua News Agency March 13, 2009)