Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign city-state and island country in Southeast Asia. Singapore is one of the world’s major commercial hubs, with the fourth-biggest financial center and one of the five busiest ports. Its globalized and diversified economy depends heavily on trade, especially manufacturing, which represented 26 percent of Singapore’s GDP in 2005. It places highly in international rankings with regard to education, healthcare, government transparency, and economic competitiveness.
The Orchard Road district, which is dominated by multi-story shopping centers and hotels, can be considered the center of tourism in Singapore. Other popular tourist attractions include the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari, which allows people to explore Asian, African and American habitats at night without any visible barriers between guests and the wild animals. The Singapore Zoo has embraced the ‘open zoo’ concept whereby animals are kept in enclosures, separated from visitors by hidden dry or wet moats, instead of caging the animals.
Jurong Bird Park is another zoological garden centered on birds, which is dedicated towards exposing the public to as much species and varieties of birds from around the world as possible, including a flock of one thousand flamingos. The tourist island of Sentosa, which attracts 19 million visitors in 2011, is located in the south of Singapore, consists of about 20–30 landmarks, such as Fort Siloso, which was built as a fortress to defend against the Japanese during World War II.