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Work on S’pore’s cultural image to attract top dollar July 13, 2006

Posted by kentneo in General.

15 Dec 06
Work on S’pore’s cultural image to attract top dollar

Letter from erik wilgenhof plante

In his article, Mr Chia made the point that a company – and Singapore, by
and large – needs to be either a cost leader or a cost differentiator,
rather than be “stuck in the middle”, as it will end up poorer for it.

      With this, he made a classical marketing error that many companies
still make. Instead of starting with what the customer – be it Singapore
residents or visitors – wants, he immediately jumps to the finished
product and its price.

    In my opinion, Singapore should be  asking itself if it wants to be a
cheap and relatively good holiday stay or a premium destination with
resort type facilities. Does it want to give the best facilities to its
citizens or does it want to put its wealth into yet another bland shopping
mall or an amusement park?

    In comparing Singapore with world renowned cities like London and
Paris, one should be reminded that these cities are much more than places
to live, work and shop. If Singapore really wants to command top price for
its hotel beds, it needs to work on its cultural image.

       In The Netherlands, the city of Groningen – where I grew up in –
had the challenge of attracting tourists, even though it’s far from the
standard tourist trail.

      It answered this challenge by building a world-class modern art
museum, making the inner city car free and attracting shops that are
“different” from the standard mall type outlets. At the same time, it
attracted businesses like biotech and IT to settle down on the outskirts
of town. Couple this with a charming centuries-old city centre and you
have a tourist magnet.

       To be like London, Paris and even New York, Singapore needs so much
more than integrated resorts, spruced up streets and luxury hotels. Find
out what kind of people you want to attract before offering them what they
want. The price becomes irrelevant after that.



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