Joyce Ching Ngai Chi
Teo Hui En Diane
Anastasia Wanda Soetjoadi
Tan Miao Peng
Geographical Imagination is the pre-existing impression of a place where one has yet to visit and how people give their own identity to a certain space. One’s pre-existing impression of a place can be formed by a few social factors: the media‘s portrayal of the place (Books, films, magazines, advertisements) and views heard from other people. However, when one visits that particular place, he will form his own additional perception of the place through his personal experiences. Such pre-existing impressions and perceptions of a place are highly dependant on individual experiences and are constantly changing as the place continues to re-image itself.
Place marketing is used as a “frame making tool”, “a packaging technique”, “a kind of world-making” and “a set of discursive practices that changes societies over time” as “places are re-conceptualized, re-structured, re-made, re-represented and re-marketed.” (O’Dell and Billing, July 2005) Our new slogan for the Singapore Tourism Board would have to include the images and impressions we would like to promote in order to attract tourists to our shores. The aim of our slogan would be to create a sense of place for the tourists even before they visit Singapore. We aspire to give tourists a sense of belonging and attachment to Singapore, which is the third level in the scale of having a sense of place (Shamai, 1991). However, the most basic would be for tourists to know Singapore exists and to get some background information about Singapore through the slogan, leading them to feel a sense of belonging as their head knowledge turns to reality when they visit Singapore. We would thus have to consider the connotations of our slogan to test whether our message is conveyed accurately. Afterwhich, we will consider the merit and drawbacks of our slogan, which will help us to hone it to create an attractive yet accurate geographical imagination of Singapore.
FUN-SIZED SINGAPORE: ARE YOU BRAVE ENOUGH TO GET A TASTE?
Our slogan plays around with characteristics that Singapore is known for. Firstly, Singapore hosts the exclusive World Gourmet Summit and Singapore Food Festival annually, strengthening Singapore’s reputation as a destination offering a distinctive and colourful food culture and heritage (Singapore Food Trip, 3rd October 2012). With this in mind, words like ‘fun-sized’ and ‘taste’ distinctly links Singapore to its identity of a Food Paradise. This is also in conjunction with the current Singapore Tourist Board’s creation of Food Trails, introducing food from the different ethnic groups which “regales the colourful stories of our food and its culture.” (Famous Food Trails, 3rd October 2012)
Comparing ourselves to our neighbouring countries, Singapore is really just a little red-dot. The term ‘fun-sized’ reflects that despite our size, Singapore is still able to offer something attractive to the tourists. The ‘taste’ of Singapore not only refers to local delicacies, but also to the taste of a diverse urban-city culture where Singapore is known to be a ‘world-class’ city-state (Olds and Wai, 2004). ‘Taste’ in this sense, is an invitation to savor the flavour and uniqueness that is Singapore.
Aside from being a Food Paradise, Singapore is portrayed as “a thriving cosmopolitan city that’s brimming with diversity, as well as a multiplicity of culture, language, arts and architecture” (YourSingapore Brand Story, 3rd October 2012). Tourists can indulge in exciting ‘world-class’ entertainment like the Formula 1 Night Race, and a multicultural diversity of music and art productions showcased in The Esplanade and Marina Bay Sands.
On top of that, Singapore has the identity of a Garden City where greenery is encouraged. Although land is sparse, we are still able to set aside pockets of greens to...