Taylor Swift Eras Tour Singapore: Exclusivity and Tourism Impact



Taylor Swift The Eras Tour Evermore Era Set 53109407241

Skift Take

Thailand has alleged Singapore paid $3 million a concert to keep Taylor Swift from performing elsewhere in Southeast Asia. Singapore didn’t say how much it paid. The debate shows the power of music events for tourism.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday defended an exclusivity deal with Taylor Swift, which made the city-state the only regional stop of the popular Eras concert tour this week.

Singapore had attracted controversy for the deal, with some other countries considering it an unfriendly move.

What’s the controversy?

The Singapore Tourism Board supported AEG Presents Asia in bringing Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour to Singapore as the only stop in Southeast Asia.

Some neighboring travel destinations resented the exclusivity and lost tourism.

Last month, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin of Thailand claimed Singapore had paid Swift up to $3 million per show for the exclusivity provision, the New York Times reported. Ministers in the Phillippines also complained.

A Singaporean minister responded that the compensation was “nowhere as high” as that.

Why does it matter?

It’s not the first time governments have been willing to pay for exclusive rights to events to help boost tourism.

But Singapore’s deal highlights two things: Taylor Swift is a tourism powerhouse, and government deals for regional exclusivity can disadvantage less wealthy destinations.

What’s the latest twist?

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong confirmed Tuesday that Singapore had paid a fee to the American singer-songwriter to make the city-state her only stop in Southeast Asia, which has a population of 700 million.

The prime minister weighed into the controversy on Tuesday, saying Singapore was not being “unfriendly” to its neighbors by cutting a deal with the performer, CNN reported.

“[Our] agencies negotiated an arrangement with her to come to Singapore and perform and to make Singapore her only stop in Southeast Asia,” Lee said at a press conference. “Certain incentives were provided to her, and a deal was reached. It has turned out to be a very successful arrangement. I don’t see that as being unfriendly.”

What’s the tourism impact?

Event organizers have sold over 300,000 tickets to Taylor Swift’s six sold-out concerts in Singapore, which wrap up this week. Some key points from an earlier Skift story by Peden Doma Bhutia:

  • When tourists attend a concert or event, their incremental in-destination spending can range from 4 to 5 times the face value of the ticket, according to online travel agency Klook.
  • “We saw over half a million fans in the queue spending more than $1,200 on bundles, including a pair of tickets and a hotel stay,” said Sarah Wan, Klook’s general manager for Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.



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