Singapore’s tourism agency has hit back at lifestyle magazine Time Out for ranking the wealthy city state among the world’s least exciting cities, by releasing a video that mockingly declares, “There is nothing exciting to do.”
The magazine’s City Life Index 2018, published this week, ranked Singapore 31st out of 32 cities, one spot above Istanbul, based on a survey of more than 15,000 people.
Chicago topped the index, followed by Porto in Portugal and New York City, scored on factors such as food, drink, culture, friendliness, affordability, happiness and liveability.
Singapore won praise for safety and public transport, but was rated the lowest for its arts and culture scene, with just 17 percent of respondents saying, “There is always something to see and do.”
In response, the Singapore Tourism Board posted a 56-second video on its Facebook page, opening with the tongue-in-cheek claim, “Singapore is boring ... there is nothing exciting to do.”
The message backdrop features Universal Studios Singapore, the Formula One race, and the city’s Artscience Museum, as well as a newly-opened A J Hackett bungy jump at Sentosa island.
“Yeah, Time Out London, we’re pretty ‘unexciting’,” it continues, turning the spotlight to Singapore’s delicacies, including a S$2 Michelin-star soy sauce chicken meal at a Chinatown food stall with the caption, “Everything is so expensive.”
Terrence Voon, the Singapore Tourism Board’s digital and content director, said, “We created this light-hearted response to let the audience have a glimpse of what Singapore can offer.”
It is not the first time the tourism board has rebuffed what it regards as misconceptions of the island.
Last April, it posted photographs debunking geographical and factual inaccuracies in an episode of CBS’s “Criminal Minds”, which referred to Singapore’s “red light” district of Geylang as the “dark side of paradise”.