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Speech by Mr Lim Neo Chian, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive, STB at the launch of Singapore's new destination brand, "Uniquely Singapore" on 9 Mar 2004

  1. Good evening ladies and gentlemen! Thank you for taking the time to attend this evening's celebration.

  2. Let me begin tonight's speech by answering the question that many of you have in your minds. Why "Uniquely Singapore"?

  3. From day one, we knew that the STB cannot come up with a destination branding on our own. We had to involve our partners from the industry, our colleagues in other government agencies, and more importantly, we had to listen to the man on the street. Our objective was simple, or so we thought.. We wanted to zero in on Singapore's unique selling proposition. And then we had to find a compelling and creative way of communicating this to Singaporeans and our visitors from all around the world.

  4. So, after we undertook a little internal exercise, we conducted research within Singapore and in almost 10 key markets for over eight months. We wanted to get our destination branding right. We wanted it to be attention grabbing, relevant and creative. We wanted it to resonate with Singaporeans and our visitors.

  5. Many of us had very different views and opinions on what makes Singapore truly special and different. No one was wrong. We were all right. And then it dawned on us. Those different, and in some cases, even contrasting suggestions are exactly what make Singapore unique. The fact that our country today is a blend of many different elements and just as many influences is what distinguishes Singapore from the rest of Asia.

  6. We are glad that we spoke to diverse groups of people for their views on what Singapore means to them. We thank them for sharing their comments honestly and candidly. Their frank and honest views made the difference in our research. After all the various workshops and focus group discussions and tests, together, we finally came up with our new destination branding, which we believe succinctly captures the true essence of Singapore today. This is "Uniquely Singapore!"

  7. Why "Uniquely Singapore?" What is it exactly, that makes our island distinct from the rest of Asia? Singapore merges the best from the East and the West. Singapore combines modernity with rich old traditions. Singapore fuses Chinese, Indian, Malay and other cultures. Even our local food is an extraordinary mix of ingredients, spices and traditions. But the beauty of all these interesting combinations is that THEY WORK beautifully, in a uniquely Singapore way.

  8. If you ask me, the one BIG thing that makes Singapore truly unique, is its people. Can you imagine an island inhabited by over 4 million people - a multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-lingual society that thrives on diversity, one that continues to harmoniously live and work together? Take for example, Chinatown. Here we have Sri Mariamman Temple, Jamae Chulia Mosque, Fairfield Methodist Church and Thian Hock Keng Temple, all in less than one sq km, peacefully co-existing together.

  9. There is so much that many of us, who live in Singapore, take for granted, but many visitors find them unique and very interesting. Our simple but delicious kaya toast and teh-tarik, our much loved Singapore chilli crabs, our very own Singapore Sling available the world over, our Peranakan culture with its rich cuisine, our unpretentious 'kopitiams' where one can have affordable feasts, our HDB estates with heartland shopping and entertainment, our quaint fortune teller with his parakeet in Little India, our 'durian' uncles enticing passerbys to their street stalls where durian lovers can tug into their D24 fresh, our big durian, the distinctive Esplanade, our much admired Asian Civilisation Museum, our multi-lingual abilities, the comfort that our cosmopolitan society gives to all visitors, our quality infrastructure (from airport to the heart of the city in 15 minutes), our garden city, and many many more - all in this little island of ours, Singapore - these are what make us "Uniquely Singapore"!

  10. The Uniquely Singapore branding campaign is more than just selling Singapore to the rest of the world. It is also about making Singaporeans and residents here more aware of the many things to see and do in Singapore, things that are special about Singapore, things that are uniquely Singapore. We want them to feel proud about Singapore, and to show their friends from abroad those things that are special and distinctive about Singapore.

  11. The year 2004 has started off quite well for many of us. The tourism business is up, the economy is recovering, and consumers in general are upbeat and optimistic about the future. We should tap on this optimism and do the best to drive the tourism industry to higher achievements.

  12. To each and every one of our industry and media partners, and colleagues in STB and in the Government, I am deeply thankful for your wonderful support. Thank you for taking precious time away from your personal commitment over the very challenging last eight months, to help come up with "Uniquely Singapore".

  13. Our task has just begun. Beyond tonight's launch of our 'Uniquely Singapore' branding, our challenge is to sustain excitement and to make "Uniquely Singapore" truly impactful. Together, let's sell Singapore to our residents and to the rest of the world - to share with them what's special and unique about Singapore. Together, let's put in a concerted effort to renew our products and develop new ones, that deliver a truly uniquely Singapore experience. We have the best from the industry here together. Together with our respective areas of expertise and strength, I believe we can make "Uniquely Singapore" a truly unbeatable destination!

  14. Thank you.

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