What does $15 million buy you?

By | Category: Travel rumblings
image of Singapore skyline

Modern Singapore © Singapore Tourism

If you are Singapore and that is the sum you have just spent hosting a meeting between two world leaders then you have probably got a good deal.

During the brief conference meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un  which lasted just over five hours, the world’s media was focussed on the Asian city state. If you switched on virtually any news-source there was wall-to-wall coverage. It was big on social media too so the decision by the Singaporean government to pick up the tab for the meeting seems to have got Singapore, its landscape, some hotels (St Regis, Shangri-la Hotel, Capella Hotel)  and and the island of Sentosa where the actual meeting took place a lot of money.

If you handed the results of the media exposure to a PR agency they would calculate how much it would cost to buy the space and then tell you how successful it had been. But no PR company could have engineered such coverage on the scale that Singapore achieved so, just from that angle, the money looks well spent. Add on to that the accommodation bills of the journalists from around the world that had to stay in the city plus their restaurant bills and the cost of their transmissions and Singapore could probably claim to have made a good return on the $15 million – if that was really the sum – that the meeting is reputed to have cost.

Coverage wasn’t just limited to Sunday and Monday. In the days leading up to the meeting, Singapore appeared frequently on the news networks and it lasted until the day after. How many people looked at the skyline and the island and then decided that they would like to visit the country won’t be known for years. Searching on Google or social media is no guide to actual bookings.

Singapore was presented as a modern, architecturally appealing destination that offered high accommodation facilities and any number of things to see. Filling in time, media outlets ran exploratory tours of the island making the tourist board very happy I would have thought.

It certainly seems better value than holding a football competition which costs many times more  and doesn’t show as much of the places where the football will be played. But then how many times in a decade would a meeting like this take place?

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