The extremely high-profile meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un this week was a real bolt from the blue for host nation, Singapore.
The impromptu summit has also courted controversy. Despite this, the nation can expect to reap some tourism rewards from its place in the historic talks.
Speaking to Singapore-based Channel NewsAsia, PRecious Communications managing director Lars Voedisch compared the impact the summit could have on the city-state to Singapore’s Formula 1 GP.
“The Formula 1 race has done a wonderful job in projecting Singapore’s landscape, image, and beautiful skyline on a global scale, and the upcoming summit will do the same,” Mr Voedisch said.
“This is something that a lot of countries would pay a lot of money for.”
Cho Pei Lin, managing director of Asia PR Werkz, called the meeting “an opportunity like never before to showcase Singapore to the world”.
“From welcoming them at Changi Airport, to our garden city, connected infrastructure and transport network, a SMART Nation, clean and efficient, and the ability to put together the summit at short notice whilst ensuring safety and security for the two delegations and Singaporeans,” she said.
“As a Singaporean, I’m very proud that we are trusted by the United States and DPRK to put this together on such short notice.”
As well as tourism and meetings, the summit could help showcase Singapore as a “relatively inclusive” society.
“It’s really interesting that two countries that are, perhaps, at complete opposite ends of the spectrum around the world have chosen Singapore as the place where they both feel comfortable,” said Simon Kemp, founder of marketing consultancy Kepios.
The venue for the meeting, Sentosa Island specifically stands to benefit.
“Sentosa is a tropical island off a tropical island,” Mr Voedisch said.
“So in terms of the images, you have the greenery, landscape, and maritime shots that add to the flavour of what it’s known for.
“But it’s mainly known for being an entertainment and holiday destination for families, so the summit will help Sentosa to position itself as a great place to hold meetings and events.”
Restaurants, bars and other small businesses have already been cashing in on the summit.
According to Reuters, Singapore burger chain, Wolf Burgers, has released a “Burger for World Peace” with American cheddar and Korean Bulgogi brisket, while Mexican restaurant Lucha Loco is selling “Rocket Man” and “El Trumpo” tacos and the opportunity to smash Trump-Kim piñatas.
Elsewhere, The Hopheads Craft Beer Bar & Bistro is offering The Bromance beverage, which combines beer, tequila, Diet Coke and Korean spirit soju.
That just might be what the two leaders will need.
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