Tag: tourism marketing
Courtesy of Royal Caribbean International
Launching its maiden voyage from the new Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore, Royal Caribbean International’s Voyager of the Seas weighs 137,276 tons and can carry a staggering 3,840 guests at full capacity. At 1,020 feet long with 14 passenger decks, the colossal vessel is Asia’s largest luxury cruise ship, serviced by an international crew of some 1,176 staff.
Recently, I participated in a briefing comprising Singapore’s attractions industry and technology companies. The idea was for these IT and web solution providers to develop industry-wide initiatives that can boost productivity, marketing and visitor experience for museums, zoos, theme parks, aquariums, and other attractions.
As the session went on, I realised that there is a gap between what technology vendors wanted to pitch for and what tourists may be willing to embrace. The differences can be rather shocking at times.
Ocean Park Hong Kong (Photo Copyright © Marion Udall)
Thanks to my colleagues from the Association of Singapore Attractions (ASA), I had the privilege to learn how Hong Kong’s Ocean Park managed to hold its ground against HK Disneyland. Speaking at the Tourism Masterclass co-organised by ASA and the Workforce Development Agency (WDA), Tom Mehrmann, its Chief Executive, shared fascinating insights on their rags to riches story.
Attracting more than 5 million visitors a year (2010/11 is likely to be its best year ever with 5.8 million visitors), Ocean Park started way back in 1977 attracting only 1.3 million annual visitors. The sprawling attraction covering some 870,000 square metres was ranked the number one theme park in China, and the seventh most popular amusement park in the world by Forbes magazine.
Singapore – a leading destination for work, study and play (courtesy of Unsplash)
What are the drivers needed to transform any place – country, city, neighbourhood, leisure attraction, heck, even a garden or building – into a well-loved destination?
One of my family’s favourite tradition every Chinese New Year Eve is to squeeze in with the masses at the Chinatown Night Market. Located along Trengganu, Sago, Smith , Pagoda and Temple Streets, the annual nocturnal bazaar is a celebration of sight, sound, scent, touch and tastes, mingled with hordes of humanity. Organised by the Chinatown Business Association with the support of the Singapore Tourism Board from 14 Jan to 6 Mar, the open air stalls offer all manner of calorific goodies, decor, toys, clothes, souvenirs, and of course, food glorious food.
After reunion dinner at my parent’s place, my wife and I decided to join the festive fray and mill with the crowd. Our aims were to grab some last minute bargain items (since this was usually the last night for people to fill their larders and wardrobes), catch some festive spirit, and just check out what’s popular in the retail scene. The cool night air after many days of non-stop rain made for a pleasant night out.