Tourism videos to woo different groups

Tourism videos to woo different groups

TWO new videos promoting Singapore, including one by local film-maker Royston Tan for the Chinese market, appear to be well-received so far.

Mr Tan's 10-minute film has garnered more than three million views since it was uploaded on video platform Youku last month.

It tells the story of a boy from China who comes to stay with a Singaporean family while on a school exchange programme.

His experiences include a poignant scene in which he takes part in the family's tradition of wrapping rice dumplings together and is told that he is one of them.

A four-minute-long music video for the Philippine market starring Filipino indie band Up Dharma Down and created by Johan Polhem, a former senior creative director for MTV Australia, has stirred none of the controversy of last year's video thus far.

The band has opened for acts such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the video has been viewed more than 850,000 times since it was uploaded on the YourSingapore Facebook page in the Philippines on May 19.

In the video, the band performs its latest single, All The Good Things, inspired by its experiences here. It shows the band in various locales, and performing with the city skyline as a backdrop.

Last year, a promotional video targeted at Filipinos was slammed for its bad script and sloppy production.

A third video, about song-bird corners, for the Australian market has had more than than 50,000 views since February.

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is hoping that the films will ignite interest in Singapore from these countries, while visitor growth from important markets like China continues to be lacklustre due to factors such as competition from other countries.

In March, there were 130,811 visitor arrivals from China out of a total of about 1.2 million tourist arrivals. There were 70,704 tourist arrivals from Australia and 53,643 from the Philippines.

On Monday, STB said visitor arrivals in March had fallen by 7.4 per cent compared with the same month last year.

Last year, tourist arrivals also fell for the first time since 2009, and STB predicts growth this year to be between zero and 3 per cent.

The three films aim to promote Singapore through music and story-telling, without being too pushy, said Mr Michael Chiam, a senior tourism lecturer at Ngee Ann Polytechnic.

"Such videos are generally very effective," he noted.

Ms Cho Pei Lin, the managing director of Asia PR Werkz, said story-telling captures the imagination as the audience imagines having the same experiences with family and friends.

This article was first published on May 27, 2015.
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