Envisioning Eden: The manufactured ecotourism environment of Singapore.

Journal of Ecotourism, 18:1, 1-24


Aaron Tham


The popularity of adopting ecotourism initiatives has led to a mushrooming of eco-precincts around the world. Arguably, ecotourism fulfils an ideological paradigm because of its inherent benefits to both natural and human environments. However, whilst theory has guided the justification for ecotourism and development of its principles, very little exists to steer how ecotourism should be contextually embedded. This research seeks to explain the notion of manufactured ecotourism from the perspective of Singapore. In a land-scarce country, ecotourism is hardly conceivable in an environment where occupying physical space is expected to bring high economic returns on infrastructural investment. However, from a comparative case-study approach, three specific exemplars of ecotourism developments have shown that the manufacturing of ecotourism has shifted the narrative of land use in Singapore and continues to transform the tourism landscape in the country. The outcomes of the research steer the directions of planning and stakeholder partnership for new destinations embarking on their ecotourism journey to ‘Envision Eden’.