Tourism expanded : My theory

The funny thing about our shopping malls is that the authorities attempt to place everything into one small, confined area. This includes food outlets, cheap clothing boutiques, bookshops and the like. More often than not, I personally feel that this turns every shopping mall just like every other shopping mall in Singapore. We can make an analogy of this using the idea of identical cookies produced from the same cookie cutter.

I understand that this is done for the convinience of the residents in the nearby housing estates, so that they have a one-stop avenue for all their shopping needs (sounds like one of those cliched advertisments, I know), but I am inclined to feel that this somehow takes away the identity of the certain district, and just turns it into “just another housing estate in Singapore”.

Considering the tourism board wants to promote us as a vibrant and unique country (read Uniquely Singapore), why not start from the shopping malls and the housing estates? Tourism isn’t just about inviting tourists to see the zoo, the birdpark and shop at Orchard Road. Why not show off housing esates that have their own unique flavour, complete with shopping malls which offer different goods in different areas of the country?

Just something to think about

1 Comment so far

  1. Tym (unregistered) on February 18th, 2006 @ 8:04 pm

    I think the differentiation problem is more urgent for the Orchard Road shopping centres. It seems that a few of them try to differentiate themselves, e.g. the Heeren by catering to the youth market — but then Bugis Junction and Far East Plaza and the basement level of Plaza Singapura seem to be moving in that direction too, so what’s the difference between these malls, then? The only malls that’ve truly differentiated themselves are probably Funan Centre, for all things electronic, and Park Mall, for all atas furniture.

    In the “heartlands”, it’s harder, I think. If a mall is too specialised, people from the neighbourhood will just skip it and head downtown anyway!

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