S’pore gains $700 million from summit

This is based on tourism, retail and media exposure generated, says analyst

Singapore might have gained more than $700 million in exposure by hosting the historic Trump-Kim summit, according to a media intelligence analyst, thanks to tourism, retail and media exposure.

Singapore spent about $20 million in total, of which half went to security costs.

It is understood that less than $5 million went to media costs, including the International Media Centre, for some 3,000 journalists.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's tour of the Marina Bay area made the front pages of many newspapers, and the Singapore skyline appeared on many news bulletins.

Media intelligence company Meltwater estimates the advertising value, based on online media mentions over the three-day summit, added up to $270 million.

Take into consideration the buzz generated since last month and advertising value balloons to about $767 million.

The number is likely to be higher if the expected value of print, broadcast or social media mentions were also tracked, which a Meltwater spokesman said there is no industry-wide formula to do.

The hotels, in particular, gained the most from the attention. More than 20,000 online articles mentioned the Capella Singapore, where the summit between US President Donald Trump and Mr Kim was held.

The hotels where Mr Trump and Mr Kim stayed - the Shangri-La and the St Regis - had a mention in a fifth of the articles each. Tourist attractions like Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay, which Mr Kim visited, were mentioned in about 5 per cent of articles.

Media monitoring firm Isentia also estimated that 69 per cent of the buzz generated from the summit was positive, 24 per cent neutral and 7 per cent negative.

Singapore can also expect at least $7.2 million from the three-day summit based on tourism receipts, said Ngee Ann Polytechnic senior lecturer Michael Chiam.

He arrived at this figure from the roughly 4,000 journalists and security personnel spending an average of $600 a day, including their accommodation, which would form the bulk of the costs.

However, this short-term gain might be counterbalanced by visitors who stayed away, said Singapore Polytechnic retail and marketing lecturer Lucas Tok.

Increased security measures in Sentosa and Orchard may have deterred some shoppers, he said.

"I don't think the journalists or diplomats had time to shop," he added.

However, all analysts pointed towards benefits that would be reaped further down the road.

"Where is Singapore?" became one of the most-asked questions on Google and indicated an increased awareness of the country, they said.

Said Mr Tok: "After a place has received traction, visitor numbers tend to go up in the next few months."

Mr Nicholas Fang, director of security and global affairs at the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, said the summit boosted Singapore's branding.

"The fact that a small country like Singapore could be the focal point of global attention for so many days will do no harm to the Singapore brand," he said.