SPECIAL MENTION #29        It Can’t be Everything to Everyone!

On the Business Times (Singapore) today an NUS Marketing Professor puts things in right perspective.  The branding of Singapore as it is, ends as in the case of Trying To Be Too Smart in the revamp of tourism branding for Singapore.  The outcome?  Everyone becomes more confused for sure!

A case of the media agency trying to be too smart and hence, staged such an incoherent marketing fiasco


"YourSingapore" is punching the air as compared with the classsic marketing campaign of "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas"

 Lessons learnt, this is a negative example of creativity. 


SPECIAL MENTION #28       “YOUR SINGAPORE” Tagline for Tourism Promotion

“Your Singapore” Tourism Promotion Tagline

I read Mr. Jorg Dietzel’s weak explanation on The Straits Times Forum about that “Your Singapore” means everything for everyone’s personal preference; and therefore it is a way to promote Singapore tourism as whatever it is, to individuals.

But the logic (suggested by Mr. Dietzel) does not hold ground for branding of Singapore.
In fact, in the process of changing “Uniquely Singapore” to “Your Singapore”, Singapore Tourism Board should better explain the essence of making the change. If I remember correctly, it was only briefly mentioned in the press that the “old” slogan has done its job well for the past decade and going forward “Your Singapore” would be a more relevant slogan for promoting Singapore’s new tourism landscape.

The fundamental question is, “How Singaporeans and the Tourism Trade industries take on the new slogan?”
While it is correct that Singapore wants tourists to remember “Their Singapore” as a result of visiting “Your Singapore”, but what about our important partners’ response to such a concept? (i.e. tourism and treval trades, hospitality etc.).
Travel & hospitality trades are integral part of tourism success and providers of “Your Singapore” experience to the tourists. If the important partners are not really excited and some even confused about the change of slogan, how would they be able to support the new initiative? It is good to hear more feedback from the travel & hospitality trades about their views on the new slogan.

In my view, “Your Singapore” should not be seen as a branding exercise. It is merely a product slogan at best. Because it is very tough to try develop more in depth meaning and sentiment about such a overly simplified slogan into a brand image for Singapore.
Therefore, “Your Singapore” remains a Call for Action message (slogan) in support of tourism customer acquisition. Branding is not done by changing slogan per se. Brand image and sentiment takes a longer gestation period to form in customers’ mind, embeded in the customer’s memories with a set of values that are long been accepted by him/her as well as many. If individuals were to “play out” a different theme based on “Your Singapore” and yet it could also means “Everybody’s Singapore” as what Mr. Dietzel claims, then it is a branding disaster.

How could an idea that remains confusing in the minds of Singaporeans that becomes a meaningful promotional tagline?

– By:  A tourism consultant

March 19, 2010 11:39 AM


SPECIAL MENTION #27       First Singapore IR Needs To Prove “Your Singapore” Is Real

Many industry friends as well as investment analysts have been contacting Professional Ground Panel about this very “Un-singapore” standard that took place since the opening of Resort World Sentosa integrated resort.  In the history of Singapore, the City State has never endured such a show of low standard rolled out of big project at this magnitude. 

It is surprising that just “how bad” the travel trade industry, public and analysts been disappointed by one of the most expensive mega resort.  As one consultant puts it, “If such things continue to happen (for the IR), it will not be good for Singapore’s tourism image.”

Industry people thought that may be RWS has long forgotten about Hong Kong Disneyland’s service and image problems.  But they are quick to mention that RWS better watch out for the 20 times larger Korean Universal studios coming on its way by 2014.

People are now looking forward to Marina Bay Sands to save the day for the mega Integrated Resort project.  It is time for the remaining yet to open IR to show the world  what is “Your Singapore” really means!!!

Notes:  “Your Singapore” is the new tourism slogan for Singapore

What "Your Singapore" means to tourists?

Hope Is Not A Method. The first to open IR needs to pull its weight




Without further explanation, a picture tells a thousand words… In this scenario can anyone expects the first Lion City IR casino to be the true VIP players hub?  It is merely “irrationally high expectations” that come true!

If RWS casino could only attract Aunties and foreign labourers... possibly a low Grind market positioning


SPECIAL MENTION #25       The Real Challenge Is Yet To Come…

Professional Ground Panel’s view:    If analysts think that this is rather disappointing scenario to start with for Resort World Sentosa casino, just wait till Marina Bay Sands opens its casino !   The alarming and most likely scenario would be, with two large IR casinos in operation, it is NOT necessary that the “catchment pool” of active patrons that’s available will increase by 2 – 3 folds. It will be an intense head-on competition between the two IR casinos, to wrestle away majority market share from the other.

As the saying goes: “If you build it, they will come”.  But, in this tight market for the IR casinos, “They” in most cases are the same pool of local gamers !    Domestic market with critical mass participation is key to casino’s sustainability.  (Macau is living off its China “demostic” market – Southern China region including Hong Kong.)


To quote Citigroup: Irrationally high expectations !


SPECIAL MENTION #24       Unrealistic Expectations Hit The (Hard) Wall

It is apparent that a “leakage” from one of the newly opened casino in Singapore boasts the “sky’s the limit” S$40m caino revenue for its first two days of opening in Chinese New Year.

But the story was a short-lived one, after TODAY newspaper reported a rather disappointing figures: S$3.5m and S$3.7m for the first two days respectively. 

S$40m? This is what analysts had called it "unrealistic Expectations"

Surely it doesn't look like a S$40m (win) property...


SPECIAL MENTION #23      Who Has Better Customer Acquisition Power?

WATCH IT!  Readers need to exercise your brainpower a bit, to discern and come up with your own conclusion about Who has the power of valued customer acquisition?

Q up at the Hong Kong LV Shop, this Chinese New Year


Crowd at the Resorts World Sentosa casino opening


SPECIAL MENTION #22       Singapore IR … Simply Overstated?


IR May Not Survive Reality...

The Singapore Chinese newspaper Zaobao (dated 8th Feb 2010) has a story detailing why the Lion City IRs may not survive with overstated economic returns, attributing to the following reasons suggested by experienced investment analysts,

–  That the investment costs are far too high.  (World most expensive in risk-return potential.)

–  That the IR’s market is much smaller than other established gaming hubs.

–  That the hot weather condition  in this part of the world is a great disadvantage for theme park. Overly hopeful of huge visitation by tourism.

–  That Resort World Sentosa’s share price is already in the “bubble” zone.  It’s revenue expectations from casino & non-gaming elements are “irrational” as described by one investment house.

We would rate the story by Zaobao News, a highly credible report; for it has taken the hard REALITY into consideration.


SPECIAL MENTION #21       World’s Best Service Casinos – Prevent Heavy Losses

Reported by The Straits Times, Singapore, 30th Jan 2010

The two integrated resort casinos in Singapore would provide world’s best casino service to their casino patrons.   In essence,

– The gamblers can ask for this world-class service to prevent themselves from losing control in the process of gambling, by asking for this uniquely service – Set Loss Limit.

–  Once patrons have reached that loss limit, they will not be allowed to continue playing.

–  Patrons who ask for this service can deposit their money into the casino’s security locker, bring with them only the declared amount (i.e. the loss limit) to play at the table.

–  If a patron loses that money and wants to leave the casino, he will be escorted out by the staff. (And take back deposited money from the security locker).

– If the patron (who reaches that loss limit) decided to stay back and continue, staff will refer him/her to counsellers.

–  If the patron cools down and still wants to continue playing (after counselling!), he can go back to the gaming table…

World's Best Service - for those who still can think clearly while gambling





20th Jan 2010 

Today’s news announcement by Universal Studios and its Korean partners will be a watershed in Asian theme park development.  The proposed development near Seoul is larger that the Universal Studios theme parks in the USA, Japan and Singapore put together! 

The development cost? At S$3.7b the budget is just nearly half the amount of one Singapore integrated resort. It is expected to be completed by early 2014.

Our panel observers opine that,

–  With China and Korea’s aggressive move into building mega theme parks and foreseeable toruism development of Kinmen (Taiwan), the East Asian tourism landscape will evolve into high quality & highly attractive tourism blocks, in that the tourism product mix (& pricing affordability) in this region will become more sophisticated and closed in on the huge potential of mid-affluent market segments in the region.  Not only this scenario will happen in East Asia, other Asian regions (West Asia and Southeast Asia) will also be attracted to the new landscape.

–  Impact on the soon to open Singapore integrated resorts will be significant.  Size (with quality) matters.  South Korean’s new Universal Studios theme park will dwarf the Singapore IR’s (435ha vs just 20ha!).  And it will corner Hong Kong’s Disneyland that already accounted for an operating loss of S$230m last year, dispite achieving tourism traffic of 29 millions. 

Impact on Singapore IRs will be highly significant




18th Jan 2010, from our cruise industry observer

According to the Chinese newspaper (Zaobao) in Singapore, Shanghai port has achieved leap & bound progress on its cruise industry development. 

In conjunction with 2010 World Expo, Shanghai cruise business will take on wings to soar ahead. Currently visiting cruise liners from Janpan and world’s luxury cruise lines such as RCL, Costa etc. have started to base their cruise ships in Shanghai port, targeting the region’s cruise markets.  It is expected that this year Shanghai’s cruise industry will achieve a growth rate of more than 87%.  On the long-term perspective Shanghai has the potential to become truly the Asian cruise hub, supported by expanding affluent market segments in and around China and East Asia.

Amidst all the excitment for the cruise industry development in Shanghai-China, just wondering where’s the Asia’s Leading Cruise Line has gone to? Apparently no where to be found in this new water. 

Star Cruises is no where to be found in Shanghai



SPECIAL MENTION #18 (a)  (In Relation to Special Mention #18)

12th Jan 2010

THE TRUTH IS OUT?    We at Professional Ground found an article on The Straits Times “Review & Forum” page (see picture image below), seems to be in respond to the questions raised by a Forum writer questioning would the Singapore authority allows the IR operators to open up just the casinos & hotels before the rest of facilities are completed?

Finally, the truth is out

We are amazed that most of the time people sing nice songs about the integrated resorts in the Lion City but only a very few willing to state their professional views, even that the IR operators admitting that casino revenue will form up to 75% of IR’s total revenue.  In that scenario, our professional panelists would think that the tourism traffic could only contribute up to 55% of the casino revenue and the rest, must come from the locals in order to sustain the IRs’ operations. 




(Extracts of Forum page from The Straits Times)

The 5% (of floor space) That Actually Drives The IR?

 Review by our panelist, Observer.Casino: 

The above forum letter is “hitting the nail” alright.

The original objective and control measure to ensure that successful Singapore IR bidders would comply to the stipulated requirement seemed to be “out of the window”.


What can happen would be,

          The IR operators will very much focus on the 5% of total floor space (casino) in order to generate the necessary 75% of the total IR revenue from casino operation; as a result leaving the other non-gaming elements as last priority and lower service level.


          The IR operators may adopt the same tactics as in the case of Macau, trying to push back the “not so profitable” IR construction as long as possible. As a result, the Lion City IRs will end up a different creation far from its government’s original vision of well-balanced tourism & economic drivers.


 It can be envisaged that if there’s lack of proper supervision by the authority on the pace & blueprint of a truly integrated resort development, Singapore IR will just become another Asian city casino destination; that the negative influence of casinos on its society will outweight its net economic benefits.


SPECIAL MENTION #17 (1st of 2010)

The panel thinks that the Business Times report on the stock broker’s assessment of Singapore IRs investment came very close to reality >>> Too-high expectations by the IR-linked companies. 

Will the premium vip players come?


SPECIAL MENTION #16 Ver 2 (2009 X’mas Supplement)

The Panel just could not resist not to publish this news report, at X’mas time…

X’mas Seasons Highlight – This one is impressive, Mr. Adelson was reported saying: “We (Sands) have 5 plane-load of 747s flying high-rollers from Singapore, Bangkok, Hong Kong, KL. Malaysia, Jakarta to Las Vegas, starting yesterday”. (22-12-2009, The Straits Times, Singapore).   Just wondering what the rest are doing? Learn from LV Sands, guys!

YES you have got it right, nothing wrong with your eye. It’s 747 jumbo jet.

Wow! That really put all other casino operators to shame



SPECIAL MENTION #16 (22-12-2009)

Professional Ground panelists would like to end the year with the following heart-warming reports from the Singapore newspapers today: –

Highlight #1 – That Mr. Adelson been reported as saying, “We are not bothered with the mass market tour groups coming to Singapore.  We are targeting the high-rollers from this region and many mainland and Taiwan Chinese high-rollers will prefer to come to Singapore instead of Macau…”

Highlight #2 – Marina Bay Sands is set to be opened by April 2009.


Experts Response to Highlight #1 above – “We wish you good luck. But what about the Singaporean locals that supposed to contribute 45% of the total casino revenue?”.

Experts Response to Highlight #2 above – “That’s a good statement to make, at least it sounds better than the reality – May or June 2010”.


“We are not bothered with the mass market tour groups”



SPECIAL MENTION #15  (8-11-2009)

One of the Professional Ground Panelists Mr. Felix Ling has been invited to be Keynote speaker at the Asian Casinos Symposium 2009, to be held in Singapore on 10th – 11th November.  Mr. Ling will also be the chairman for the symposium Day One proceedings. 

Felix’s keynote address will touch on “Singapore Integrated Resorts – Setting the pre-conditions for an uniquely Singapore gaming experience & staying ahead in Asia”.


ACS 2009 



SPECIAL MENTION #14 (13-10-2009)

Professional Ground Panel picks this news from Bloomberg “Wynn, Sands Fall as Macau Mulls Casino Limit Changes” to be worthy of special mention.

                      BLOOMBERG News —  Oct. 12 (Bloomberg) — Wynn Resorts Ltd. and Las Vegas Sands Corp. fell in New York trading after Macau said it’s reviewing the casino industry’s growth and may impose limits.

WHY?     :     With reference to the article “Macau’s Macro Control Lever…” posted on Professional Ground, this is yet another clear indication of how focused the Chinese central government intends to manage the territory’s casino landscape.  

It Is NOT a Free-for-all Cashflow...

It Is NOT a Free-for-all Cashflow...




>>> AFTERNOTE:    16th October 2009

The stock price of Las Vega Sands dropped again, after news that the Chinese government intended to further tighten up travel visa to Macau.  A reversal after the National Day golden week holidays.  So this is what we meant by it is not a free market by supply & demand; it is a policy driven market yet with already over-supplied gaming products.


Professional Ground picks worthy & interesting items/subjects of general interest for special mention in this Section

SPECIAL MENTION #13 (28-9-2009)

Professional Ground Panel picks this news event “Wynn’s Macau Asset IPO In Hong Kong” to be worthy of special mention.

WHY?     :     Simple enough reason, That Las Vegas Sands was the first to start this Hong Kong IPO stuff and still waiting in the Q…

Well Done!  Steve Wynn

Well Done! Steve Wynn


Professional Ground picks worthy & interesting items/subjects of general interest for special mention in this Section

SPECIAL MENTION #12 (12-8-2009)

Professional Ground Panel picks this news event as the most significant indicator of all for Macau’s future on gaming.

WHY?     :     The statement comes from the horses’ mouth.  Chinese State Department mentioned this tough statement for the new Chief Executive of Macau, well before the December new term begins, indeed is an early warning to all. So, do not hope for too much of easing the restrictive travel policy.  Diversification away from reliance on gaming revenue is the mandate.


If analysts still do not understand what "diversification" from gaming revenue means...

If analysts still do not understand what "diversification" from gaming revenue means...



Professional Ground picks worthy & interesting items/subjects of general interest for special mention in this Section

SPECIAL MENTION #11 (26-7-2009)

The panel of Professional Ground picks Room To Read, set up by John Wood for our Special Mention! column .   As quoted by news report: “John Wood’s life changed when he saw that 500 students had to share 20 books in a Nepalese school.”    For more information about Room To Read and how to donate, go to

WHY?     :     “Each day that one of these children across the developing world wakes up and does not go to school is a tragedy”  –  John Wood


John Wood runs the NGO - Room To Read, with projects that set up library and schools for children of developing countries

John Wood runs the NGO - Room To Read, with projects that set up library and schools for children of developing countries



Professional Ground picks worthy & interesting items/subjects of general interest for special mention in this Section

SPECIAL MENTION #10 (22-7-2009)

The Pro Ground panel attributes our No.10 Special Mention! to the most fascinating astronomical event – The Full Solar Eclipse, over the sky of China.

WHY?     :     Once every 500 years!!!


Live-on-TV Image captured, 22nd July 2009 morning

Live-on-TV Image captured, 22nd July 2009 morning



Professional Ground picks worthy & interesting items/subjects of general interest for special mention in this Section

SPECIAL MENTION #9 (21-7-2009)

The panel picked Tom WATSON The Man of the Month…  at the British Open.

WHY?     :     Matured, calm and still a great sportsman at 59.


The public sentiment

The public sentiment

British Open



Professional Ground picks worthy & interesting items/subjects of general interest for special mention in this Section

SPECIAL MENTION #8 (13-7-2009)

The panel UNANIMOUSLY voted to pick the following write-ups in the Lion City’s Chinese newspaper, questioning the city state’s integrated resorts (IR) return on investment and can they really turn on a massive tourism attraction power?  The news report/article highlights three (3) true facts as,

(1)  The financial states of Las Vegas Sands and Genting Singapore.

(2)  Lion City’s IR remains the most costly casino-resort investment in the world.

(3)  Return on investment would be a very long-shot (over to the moon maybe) IF the IR has nothing overwhelmingly spectacular to compete in the region.

We recommend that readers may read about Professional Ground’s articles on “Will They Come?” (posted 22nd April 2009) and “… Too Optimistic on the EBITDA?”  (posted 25th June 2009) to form your own opinion.

WHY?     :     Finally, someone is writing about critical facts  …

Most costly casino-resort investment in the World!

Most costly casino-resort investment in the World!



Professional Ground picks worthy & interesting items/subjects of general interest for special mention in this Section

SPECIAL MENTION #7 (10-7-2009)

After very heated debate, the panel of Professional Ground picked Marina Bay Sands (at The Lion City) for Special Mention!

WHY?     :     Because the whole world is confused by them!   –  One moment ‘definitely Yes’, the next moment ‘Should be…’ , then now comes with a ‘Shortage of …’ .     So, we think that there are ‘More to Come…’.

                          This time around as reported, they said the delay was due to SHORTAGE OF BUILDING MATERIALS …

                          Readers may go to read the home page article “Sands – A Tough Company…” to form your own opinion.


"Shortage of building materials"

"Shortage of building materials"



Professional Ground picks worthy & interesting items/subjects of general interest for special mention in this Section

SPECIAL MENTION #6 (08-7-2009)

We picked Roger Federer to be in Pro Ground’s Special Mention!

WHY?     :     Simply this is the ‘Mount Everest of tennis’ achievement.


Roger Federer - King of Tennis

Roger Federer - King of Tennis



 Professional Ground picks worthy & interesting items/subjects of general interest for special mention in this Section

 SPECIAL MENTION #5 (26-6-2009)

This month Professional Ground pick MACAU Gaming Industry for the Special Mention!

WHY?    :     Read below… Based on media reports from Destination Macau

This week, 

(1)  MGM Grand was nearly deserted.

(2)  The Sands had big empty patches all over its main floor …

(3)  Over on Cotai, the Venetian was soft rather than dead, …

(4)  City of Dreams was a sorry sight at 11pm. The main gaming floor couldn’t have had even half of its tables open.

(5)  The premium area around the Crown entrance to the casino was all but deserted.

(6)  The Hard rock casino had no more than a few dozen people in it.


A case of Excesses

A case of Excesses



 Professional Ground picks worthy & interesting items/subjects of general interest for special mention in this Section

 SPECIAL MENTION #4 (14-6-2009)

This is definitely a worthy special mention that Pro Ground picks for readers.  Formal president George H.W. Bush marked his 85th birthday the same way he did his 75th & 80th birthdays – He leaptfrom a plane on a free fall parachuting jump (with Sgt. Mike Knights of the US Army).

WHY?     :     “Just because you’re an old guy, you don’t have to sit around drooling in the corner. Get out and do something. Get out and enjoy life.”  –  senior Bush.

Snr Bush.jump



Professional Ground picks worthy & interesting items/subjects of general interest for special mention in this Section

SPECIAL MENTION #3 (03-6-2009)

The Pro Ground is happy to highlight Las Vegas Sands (LVS) for special mention here!

WHY?     :     Because LVS remains the first American casino operator to invest in a big way in Asia and changed the Asian gaming landscape entirely. 




Professional Ground picks worthy & interesting items/subjects of general interest for special mention in this Section

SPECIAL MENTION #2  (02-6-2009)

The Pro Ground thinks that the women’s Mount Everest team from the Lion City (Singapore) deserves a special mention here!

WHY?    :     Because they are courageous and made history for the Lion City State. 

Spore Women.Mount Everest



Professional Ground picks worthy & interesting items/subjects of general interest for special mention in this Section

SPECIAL MENTION #1   (01-6-2009,  being the FIRST subject selected for SPECIAL MENTION!)

Item picked for Special Mention:    The Blog – “AseanOnWheels”  BY Gen. Lim Neo Chian

WHY?   :   Simply down-to-earth writing and good to read, very educational


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