April 12, 2024

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Eras Tour: Singapore defends Taylor Swift's exclusive stop in Southeast Asia after neighbors cry out

Eras Tour: Singapore defends Taylor Swift's exclusive stop in Southeast Asia after neighbors cry out



CNN

Singapore is attracting fans from across Southeast Asia and beyond for Taylor Swift's Eras Tour, much to the annoyance of the city-state's regional neighbors.

The anger is not directed at the star, but rather at the Singaporean government over the exclusive agreement she struck with concert organizers to ensure that the city-state is the only place in Southeast Asia where she performs.

SWIFT brought a windfall to Singapore, as it usually does where ever you go – Where fans buy flights, accommodation and souvenirs in the city-state.

But countries in the region expressed their alarm over Philippine legislator Joey Salceda saying that exclusive deals are not “what good neighbors do.”

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong responded to the criticism on Tuesday, saying Singapore was not being “unfriendly” to its neighbors by striking a deal with the star.

“[Our] “The agencies negotiated an arrangement with her to come to Singapore and make presentations and to make Singapore their only stop in Southeast Asia,” Lee told a news conference in Melbourne while on a state visit to Australia.

“Some incentives were offered to her, and an agreement was reached. It turned out to be a very successful arrangement. I don’t see this as being unfriendly.”

“If we had not made such an arrangement, would she have come to more places in Southeast Asia? Maybe, maybe not?” he added.

Singaporean officials had previously acknowledged offering a grant to Swift, with the country's culture minister, Edward Tong, downplaying the size of the grant and saying on Monday that it was “not accurate and not as high as expected.”

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Thai Prime Minister Srita Thavisin claimed during a business forum in Bangkok on February 16 that Singapore paid Taylor Swift up to $3 million per show on the condition of exclusivity to perform in the country.

Swift's team has not commented on the controversy and did not respond to CNN's request for a response. Both Thailand and the Philippines have seen major international music acts recently that have amazed fans. Including Coldplay.

The Eras Tour is a fantastic multi-continent tour that has risen to become The most profitable tour ever – And SWIFT makes Singapore a lot of money.

Swift will perform six sold-out nights in front of 300,000 fans in Singapore, where 70% of concertgoers travel from abroad and spend up to $370 million in the city-state, according to estimates by a Maybank economist.

Between March 1 and 9, when Swift was in town, flights to Singapore rose 186% and accommodation bookings nearly quintupled, according to Edmund Ong, general manager of the travel platform. Trip.com In Singapore.

These large-scale global music events are a boon for Singapore's travel-related services that could add up to 10% to its GDP, Yun Liu, an economist at HSBC Asean, wrote in a recent note.

CNN

Filipino fans Errol de Assis, Jillian Granada, Krystle Kai Quan, and Yeda Mendoza have made their way to Singapore for the Eras Tour.

Fans from the Philippines, Thailand, China and other countries in the region spent thousands on concert tickets and planes to see Swift perform, as well as everything needed to complete the experience with embroidered dresses and themed costumes.

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For many Filipino fans, traveling to Singapore can be a huge expense. The Philippines' per capita GDP is about $3,500 annually, according to the World Bank. In comparison, Singapore is one of the richest places in the world with the average person earning 23 times more, and a per capita GDP of $83,000.

Filipino fan Charlene Suizo is among those making an expensive pilgrimage to see Swift, pulling out all the stops to get a once-in-a-lifetime extravaganza.

“This is the most amount I have ever spent for a concert. I have never spent as much as a six-figure sum (Philippine peso) for someone else, only Taylor Swift,” Suizo said.

Singapore's currency is one of the strongest in Asia, making everything relatively expensive for travelers from emerging markets in the region.

Jillian Granada, 24, who traveled from the Philippines with three other friends, said that although it is more expensive for them to go to Singapore for the concert, it makes sense to host it in the city-state.

“I don't think we'll have a venue big enough to accommodate it and its stage and production and all that. So, I think that's probably one of the reasons why they decided to hold it here in Singapore because it's a great stadium,” Granada said.

Her friend Christelle Kay Quan, 25, said they all spent about $2,000 on tickets, flights and accommodation for the trip, adding that they at least had to turn it into their first international trip as friends.

This equates to about six times the national average monthly wage in the Philippines, based on the most recent government Census data.

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But it's worth it “because we'll see Taylor.”