Taylor-made tourism plan and SGD 300 million top-up set to give Singapore a booming 2024

It is Taylor Swift day in Singapore today, as the island nation begins hosting the pop megastar’s 6-concert series at the National Stadium and basks in the glory of drawing tens of thousands of Swifties to the country.

Taylor Swift on stage
Singapore is all dressed up and ready to party with Taylor Swift. Photo courtesy: Instagram/ tstheerastoursg

The Government of Singapore has worked hard to not only host the Taylor Swift shows, but also to keep them exclusive to Singapore in South-East Asia.

This is part of a tourism strategy that also includes an SGD 300 million top-up for the sector — the result is an estimated SGD 26 billion to SGD 27.5 billion tourism spend by 15 million to 16 million international visitors in 2024. These figures were presented by Minister of State for Trade and Industry Alvin Tan during the Committee of Supply debates on March 1.

Several other huge names — Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, Rod Stewart, Deep Purple, and more — have performed or will perform in Singapore this year, and ‘concert tourism’ is also a great vehicle for promoting the nation’s general tourism attractions.

No stone was left unturned to bring Taylor Swift to Singapore. It has already been revealed that the Singapore Tourism Board offered a “grant” — estimated, but not officially confirmed, to be up to SGD 4 million per concert — to the Taylor Swift team for an exclusive tie-up.

Further, according to a report in The Straits Times, the multi-agency team that began work on the deal more than a year ago was led by Singapore Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong himself.

Breathing new life into urban Singapore

Tong told ST that bringing the Taylor Swift ‘Eras Tour’ to the National Stadium was part of the plan to breathe new life into the Singapore Sports Hub, the sports and recreation district within the Kallang zone of the city.

Taylor Swift on stage
Taylor Swift is not just a musician, but also a force of economic nature. Photo courtesy: Instagram/ tstheerastoursg

“The Sports Hub was an important project for me, personally, and for my ministry,” he said. “We wanted to make sure we left no stone unturned, both in terms of ensuring we kept ourselves updated on what the best venues around the world could offer, but also what content we could bring in.”

Kallang Alive Sport Management (KASM) representatives were part of the team that went all out to bring Taylor Swift to Singapore. The team campaigned in Los Angeles in early 2023, meeting show promoters and agents for music and sports events. That effort has given Singapore extremely rich rewards.

For days and days now, the island nation has been buzzing with excitement, especially after Taylor Swift landed at the Seletar Airport, Singapore, on her charter flight from Sydney, Australia, on February 27.

Various concert-related activities include a “light and water show” at the Marina Bay Sands — dancing fountains swaying to the music of Taylor Swift — that runs from February 28 to March 7.

The Eras Tour Light and Water Show at Marina Bay Sands
Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour Light and Water Show at Marina Bay Sands. Screenshot courtesy: Instagram/marinabaysands

Swifties from Malaysia have organised a ticketed Taylor-themed pool party at Resorts World’s Adventure Cove Waterpark on March 3.

Media guides on Singapore are running a series of articles on “what to see and do” while in the country to attend Taylor Swift concerts; this undoubtedly benefits local businesses.

Offering new products and experiences

While the ‘Eras Tour’ has charged up the local economies in cities around the world, wherever Taylor Swift has performed so far, the Singapore strategy is aimed at sustaining the momentum.

Outlining what the government hoped to achieve through the SGD 300 million top-up for the Tourism Development Fund of Singapore, minister Tan said that it would further drive post-pandemic recovery in the tourism sector and keep Singapore an attractive destination in the face of “intensifying global competition”.

Also read: Swift impact: Singapore banks on big boost to economy with six Tay Tay concerts in March 2024

Mothership quoted Tan as saying, “This [fund] will [help] develop and market new products and experiences, including supporting local enterprises as they develop new intellectual properties, rejuvenate existing tourism offerings, and also upskill our tourism workers.”

Addressing Singapore’s local enterprises, the minister said, “We encourage all companies to make use of this top-up to grow your business.”

Sentosa island beach
A beach on Sentosa Island. Photo courtesy:

Mentioning some of the “high-quality and first-of-its-kind experiences” coming soon to Singapore, the minister referred to Sensoryscape, a 30,000 sqm pathway connecting Resorts World Sentosa and Sentosa Island beaches that is expected to have a soft launch in March 2024. The pathway is expected to have “multi-sensory gardens” and “digital light displays”.

Gru at Universal Studios Singapore
Supervillain Gru will be joined by the Minions soon at the Universal Studios Singapore. Photo courtesy: universalstudiossingapore

In 2025 will come Minion Land at Universal Studios Singapore; and the new Singapore Oceanarium, much larger than the current S.E.A. Aquarium. “These [projects] will help us maintain international mindshare and strengthen our appeal as a compelling destination,” said Tan.