We are constantly promoting Singapore to the world. From one Grand Prix to two casinos, no matter how big and expensive the project, STB will squeeze anything and everything into the little red dot for the sake of more tourists. However I'm not sure if they are looking at the number of visitors revisiting Singapore.
I've never seen any statistics on the number of returning visitors, but at least all my foreign friends who have visited Singapore once are definitely not keen in coming back for the second time. Well, excluding those that have to come for business. And the common reason? They felt being ripped off by the Singapore hotels.
One friend from Hong Kong visited during the first F1 Grand Prix and while he felt that the ticket was expensive, it was still acceptable because it was the first night race experience. What was not acceptable was having to pay through his nose to stay in some budget hotel in some dodgy place. This year, he chased after the race in Japan.
One friend from France came for a short break and paid five hundreds over dollars for a room in a five-star hotel along Scotts Road. All thanks to the hotel's minibar, she did not dare to drink another can of soft drink in Singapore during the whole trip. That one and only can of Coke she drank from the minibar cost her a painful and memorable five dollars.
One colleague from Canada was here on business last quarter. The first time that he stayed at this five-star hotel near Marina Bay, he paid forty over dollars for a plate of Hainanese Chicken Rice, only to find out during lunch that we paid the same price for one whole chicken, some side dishes and a plate of rice for all eight of us. And this Lost-and-Found stall's chicken rice tasted better.
The same Canadian colleague was here again on business recently. This time, he stayed at the same five-star hotel with its name started with "C", and having learned his lesson that the hotel's very presentable chicken rice was a total rip-off, he ordered Fish and Chips. It cost him fifty over dollars. And no, that fish was not an endangered Queensland grouper.
Seriously, STB, besides spending so much money renovating Your Orchard Road, getting rid of maids picnics and replacing them with butterflies, and spending so much effort coming up with yet another catchy tag line for Your campaign, you should go have a talk with Your five-star hotels and tell them that nobody is visiting Your Singapore because Your hotels are too damn expensive!