The report attempts to investigate on the current condition into the visitor management systems of Singapore botanical gardens. The study will also give a brief history of the tourist attraction site and its origin as well as highlighting on the major development that it has undertaken. The research, then, focuses on the management systems available in the surveillance of the daily activities. The Singapore botanical problem; issues, affecting the system is explored and the causes and the impacts are also discussed. Recommendations on the best visitor management system are outlined using the visitor behavior theory.
The target of this research report is to survey the current status of the Singapore botanical gardens and to discuss on the issues, affecting the tourist’s site development. Predicted recommendations on management approach are also dealt with. By engaging in an in-depth study on the current information and data on the tourist site in Singapore using the online articles, published journal, magazines and related sites to the system, this report describes the main problems, affecting the management system in Singapore botanical gardens. It also discusses on the causes of these problems and the impact it poses to the management, visitors and the general society.
Visitor management systems are schemes intended to keep track of visitors coming in and going out of the business premises, especially in tourist related sites. It can as well be defined as the tracking or pursuing the use of a public building or site. The system can register and store the use of the facilities by specific visitors, then, provide extremely vital information, concerning the visitors’ whereabouts. (Ghuman, 2010). Singapore botanic gardens started in 1859 by individuals and later, handed on to the government as a scheme, aimed at providing a diverse system of tourist attraction. The situation offers both a recreation as well as educational facilities. The gardens contain an array of both horticultural attractions as well as other botanical collections, aimed at supporting diverse attractions to different people of the world. To be able to cater for the needs of the visitors, in terms of satisfying them, the management of the scheme requires stern measures that are geared towards protecting both the environment as well as assure security and other help to them.
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With regards to the goals of the United Nations in respect to the management of the environment, the goals of the management of botanical gardens in Singapore has been explicitly stated as one that is directed towards using the environment sustainably ( Singapore Green plan, 2012). The balance between the man and the nature is given an upper hand in the management of the botanical gardens. This will greatly assist in providing not only high returns to the government but also to ensure that there is consistency in the number of visitors in the region. Singapore botanic gardens adopt a 3- core concept. Bukit Timah, the recreation and educational zone. Tanglin is the prestige core, retaining the long time charms of the historic gardens and the central, which is the garden, meant majorly for tourist attraction. However, there are drawbacks, in terms of challenges that normally tend to impede the processes, aimed at developing the regions. Some of these challenges include: waste materials, littered in those places. Efforts to curb the vice of waste materials have always been one of the requisite measures that the management system has undertaken to combat. If this is achieved, then, the expectations of the management are likely to be met objectively.
Singapore Botanic Gardens is considered and has been an existing testimonial to the founding fathers of Singapore. In 1859, the site was started by an Agro-Horticultural Society. The society’s management was handed over to the British government in 1874. They were bestowed with the responsibility of managing and maintaining the operations at the site. The colonial government assumed this responsibility of management and, then, deployed well trained botanists and horticulturists to help in the administration of the gardens.
The Garden had taken a leading role in the Singapore greening exercise just by the half way mark of 1960’s decade. The staff became involved in the supply of planting materials and also in the introduction of plants to add the value of color and the various differences on the road sides and the public parks. This was done in such a way that the need for more urban landscape and recreational facilities in the country were met. They, then, merged with the Parks and Trees branch within the Public Works Department in 1973, which later became the Parks and Recreation Department.
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The control and supervision was given to the newly formed National Parks Board in June, 1990. By the 21st century, the Gardens ventured into an inclusive improvement program to bring it to the head of botanical and horticultural activity. In July 1996, The National Parks Board, the Recreation and Parks department merged with the Ministry of National Development. This had the mandate to look after the greening and adornment of Singapore. A statutory board remained as National Parks Board. The new Bukit Timah entrance and the 2.5 ha healing garden was launched this year to attract more tourists.
There are, indeed, two categories or technologies, used in the management of the visitors in a firm. These are the pen and paper, and also the computer technology. The pen and paper involves the use of a log book in the recording of the events, circulating around a visitor. The key information, found in an entry, includes but not limited to the following: the date, reason for visit, name and the times for check in and check out. It has a low up-front cost. This is because the training, involved in using the system, is minimal, and the equipment, necessary for the implementation of this program, is cheap and readily available. Simple systems use an ordinary book format with rows, where visitors simply enter their details.
Advanced paper and pen’s systems use a series of a paper, called the NCR superimposed on a tear off pass. The paper gives room for extra information within the system. It has a discretion sheet which protects the identity of the latter visitors to the same site. A register is laid just at the rear side of the discretion sheet. Information is transferred to the carbonless paper from the pass through the discretion sheet. The log also helps in the evacuation register which, at times, is referred to as the fire list. When an emergency occurs, the information is picked and transferred to a muster roll, thus, providing details of the visitors and personnel on site (IFPO, 2010).
However, it has negative points, based on the security and its usage. Visitors are forced to write entries by hand. This creates a holdup effect in public check points and entryways. Security personal must verify each visitor’s qualifications and manually initiate any further security checks. Secondly, visitors’ badges seldom have photo identification and can easily be changed from an individual to the next.
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Computer network monitors and records the visitor information within the Computer Visitor Management Systems. Electronic visitor management systems have added database searching, photo identification capability, automatic door access and other functions. This has evolved due to the improvement in the Information technologies. This has improved most of the negative aspects of the pen and paper technology.
Visitors’ identification can be checked alongside the local and national databases. It can also be used in house databases for potential security solutions. Most visitor management systems demonstrate searchable visitor information databases. Photo identity cards can be regularly printed once or over and over again. The security screening process is escalated by the use of swipe cards.
They are expensive in comparison to the pen and paper technology. They also need a longer adaptation period for the building staff, security personnel and visitors as compared to the pen and paper system. Since their adoption in the early 1990’s, computers have risen remarkably in their usage in the visitor management. Advancement is even more pronounced in the current world. The event that took place on the 11th of September, 2001, in America, forced most companies and agencies to step up their security details and, thereby, escalating the use of these gadgets in the control of both out and in flow of visitors to a premise or even country (Goodman, 2005).
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There is a number of Visitor management software, available in the market. These applications classically consist of three essential components that are the visitor registration, visitor badge printing, and reporting functionality. Some of the gadgets are capable of involuntarily capturing visitor information openly from a visitor's driving license, passport or other government issued identification document. Visitor management software also serves as a service. A web based visitor management system is offered as a service alternatively to the other functions.
The issue of overcrowding has been prevalent in Singapore. This not only emanates from the visitors coming in, but also from the population that has existed for a long period. The population of Singapore is composed of diverse ethnic cultures. This has resulted to a rapid increase in the population of the state. This makes it impossible to manage to offer the best services to the incoming visitors. The government, however, has been trying to control the population for a long period.
The resulting impact of the overcrowding is mismanagement of resources. There is massive environmental pollution. The resources that are hitherto meant to cater for a small number of individuals are overloaded. The exceeding carrying capacity may cause straining of the available resources.
Concern over the environmental pollution even as the society continuous to enjoy the resources from the environment is of a major importance. This increases the chances of attracting many visitors over a period of time. In this case, for example, if the environment is compromised at the expense of increasing the number of visitors, the resources of the state will be exhausted. This does not also give the management time to plan and organize for the subsequent visitors, who are likely to come in the following periods. This consequently leads to the loss of long term goals of the concerned management.
If this, however, is taken into account, there will be massive benefits, accrued from the process.
In this case, visitor’s behavior and the impacts, they pose to the environment, is the basis, upon which the choice of the effective method of controlling the management issue is based on. This entails application of diverse mechanisms such as hardening the resources to ensure the visitors can utilize them efficiently without endangering their survival, limiting the amount of use, increasing the supply of the recreation areas that will ultimately reduce the overcrowding of the limited resources, and also altering the behavior of the visitors (Manning, 1979).
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Outdoor recreation management requires crowding management techniques. This is an important tool to use in the tourism planning. Quantity management strategies can be used in the Botanical gardens in Singapore. This will involve setting limits for the tourism use within specific time period. The concept, applied in this case, is the social carrying capacity of the specific sites. This will ultimately lead to enhancing visitors experience as well as increasing their satisfaction. Under provision of services and facilities can adversely affect the level of income, earned by the country over a long period of time. This, in turn, affects the long term plans of the projects. Social problems in this kind of strain are expected to increase. The general condition of tourism management is compromised, leading to other multiple problems. However, if such high populace of the visitors is avoided, then, such social problems are dealt with in advance.
The implicit assumption, made in this case, is that human beings have a higher tolerance to overcrowding in the private spheres as compared to the public or the natural resources. Therefore, the recommendations in this case are the application of indirect visitor management policy to prevent a case, where the direct management may pose a threat, leading to the loss of the visitors in the future. In this case, the management can charge differential amount in case of straining of the resources by the user; information or education on the use of the resources can also be disbursed to the individuals. Other methods that can also be used are imposing restrictions to the use of certain camp sites.