Rebranding the Lion City

Ooi Can Seng

Modified 29 Jan 2008, 10:21 am

In March 2004, Singapore was re-branded 'Uniquely Singapore'. The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) replaced the former tag of 'New Asia' after eight years. Between RM67 and RM133 million dollars will be spent on telling the world that Singapore is unique.

Programmes will also be launched to generate a sense of brand ownership in the local tourism industry and among local residents. 'Uniquely Singapore' products will be created and Singaporeans will be encouraged to search for things that make their country special.

'Uniquely' Singaporean cultures will be discovered and invented, as the STB and other state agencies jointly socially engineer and 'touristify' the Lion City.

In many other countries, residents would be concerned and react against the 'touristification' of their societies. In Singapore, however, it seems that the measure is accepted as progress in the development and emergence of Singaporean society.

What has the STB done for Singaporean society? Here are a few examples:

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