SINGAPORE: The Singapore Tourism Board has taken advantage of the city state’s moment on the international stage to promote it as a tourist destination to the world this week – but it was an unexpected selfie of Kim Jong-un at Singapore’s Gardens By The Bay attraction that went viral.

What will be the outcome of the summit itself remains to be seen, but the PR value to Singapore’s tourism profile is likely to far exceed the reported US$20m that the Singapore government has invested in hosting it.

In a surprise development, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un took a late night ‘jalan jalan’ (walk-around) some of Singapore’s most famous tourist attractions on the eve of the summit. A selfie of Kim and Singapore’s Foreign Minister, Vivian Balakrishnan – who accompanied Kim on his whirlwind tour – together at Gardens By The Bay immediately went viral around the world.

The city’s glittering skyline has also featured in TV news reports, with the Singapore Tourism Board requesting skyscrapers in the downtown area to switch on their office lights in the coming days, “to help create a stunning visual spectacle of the Singapore skyline” for TV viewers around the world.

Shopping mecca Orchard Road – near where both leaders are staying – has also featured in coverage. Sentosa Island, a popular tourist destination, is the host to the meeting between Trump and Kim. All three areas were packed with tourists and journalists in the days leading up to the summit.

Singapore is already benefiting: an analysis of international social media chatter by Digimind indicated that the location of the summit – Singapore and more specifically, Sentosa Island – saw a 36% share of voice.

The Singaporean government has worked to facilitate more than 2,500 journalists descending on the country to report on the event, with media receiving goodie bags emblazoned with the “Passion Made Possible” branding and filled with discounts to tourist attractions and information on investment opportunities.

The Sunday edition of the government-owned Straits Times, Singapore’s national newspaper of record, also had a “Summit City” special, providing a tourist’s guide to the city aimed at visiting media which included “Singapore’s claims to fame” including “picture perfect places” and “dishes you don’t want to miss”.

The agency behind the Passion Made Possible campaign, TBWA\Singapore, is thrilled to see its work making an impact.

“The fact that Singapore was chosen for this monumental summit without even asking for it further exemplifies it as a place where passion and possibilities are realized, “said Gary Steele, Executive Creative Director at TBWA\Singapore in comments to WARC.

“The meeting will have the whole world’s eyes on Singapore and it’s the perfect opportunity for us to showcase what the little red dot has to offer.”

Sourced from WARC