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Taylor Swift, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, Etc: ‘Concert Economics’ A Dream Come True For Singapore

SINGAPORE: If anything, credit can be given to Singapore for having the foresight to prepare to become the “Events and Entertainment Capital of Asia” for some time now.

Big acts, after all, equal big ticket sales plus a big tourism boost, and in a time when countries are still recovering from the pandemic and are facing global tensions, big money from “concert economics” is a big deal.

The country’s strategy “is part of wider economic development agency attempts to diversify Singapore’s brand beyond its well-established reputation as a leading business destination,” the Singapore Tourism Board said in 2009.

Speculation on how much Swift played six sold-out concerts from Mar 2 to 9 has been the object of many articles, especially since the economic impact of the Eras Tour of the biggest pop star in the world has been characterised as “staggering.”

Countries and cities where Swift has performed have enjoyed a large revenue boost. In North America alone, the tour has been projected to rake in US$2.2 billion (S$2.97 billion) in earnings.

The economic valuation of the tour is expected to reach US$5 billion (S$6.74 billion), an amount higher than the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 50 countries.

HSBC’s ASEAN economist Yun Liu recently wrote, “The Lion City has traditionally been more a magnet for business travel, but these large-scale global music events are a boon for Singapore’s travel-related services that can add up to 10 per cent of its GDP.”

Hotel bookings and those for Singapore Airlines and Scoot saw a surge for Swift’s concert dates, with Coldplay’s “Music of the Spheres” tour seeing a similar uptick.

Ms Erica Tay, director of macro research at Maybank, is quoted in a Feb 26 CNBC piece as saying that The Eras Tour dates in Singapore may bring in a boost worth between S$350 to S$500 million dollars to tourism if 70 per cent of concertgoers are from other countries, since Singapore, after all, is Swift’s only stop in the region.

In a joint statement last week, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and the Ministry of Community, Culture and Youth (MCCY) said that Swift had been awarded a grant to perform in Singapore.

While the grant amount remains undisclosed, it is speculated to be between S$2 to S$3 million per show.

Ms Tay added that if there were photos of Swift having a great time around Singapore, this could also boost tourism.

“Scenes of her enjoying herself in Singapore – whether it’s trying iconic dishes or checking out heritage architecture – will go a long way. If she falls in love with chicken rice, it can put the dish, and Singapore, on the map for a new audience globally,” she told CNBC. /TISG

By: Anna Maria Romero
Originally published at: The Independent Singapore

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