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Global Marketing for Universal Studio Singapore

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Global marketing for Universal Studio Singapore

Introduction

Tourism in Singapore has experienced increased popularity over the years, and different investors have targeted the country with diverse tourist attractions. Notably, theme parks, casinos, dining, and entertainment resorts have gained increased preference from the Singapore consumers interested in spending. Among these attractions is the Universal Studio Singapore theme park opened in 2010, which has attracted over 2 million visitors within its first year of operation. Majority of these visitors are from Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia, and this has created need for marketing efforts to increase customers from East and South East Asia. This is a one-year plan aimed at attracting more visitors from Hong Kong to the Universal Studio Singapore theme park.

Universal Studio Singapore

Company background

Located within the Resorts World Sentosa's expansive 120 acre region, the Universal Studio Singapore is a theme park designed for the family, the young, and the young at heart. The park comprises of 7 attractions surrounding a lagoon, all fitted with striking facilities to meet varying needs of the visitors (Books LLC 2010 p10). Additionally, the park incorporates popular movie themes into its design with the intent of enhancing its entertainment capacity. The seven attractions making up Universal Studio Singapore include Sci Fi City, Ancient Egypt, Lost World, Far Far Away, Madagascar, Hollywood, and New York. One of the major entertainment spots in the park is the Battlestar Galactica, named as the world's tallest roller coasters (ABS-CBN 2011 par15).

Since the resort strives to offer exclusive entertainment activities to its visitors, most of the facilities incorporate Asian designs and fittings aimed at meeting the needs of Asian customers. Universal Studio Singapore started operating in March 2010, but its grand opening was held on May 28, 2011 (Channel News Asia 2011 par1). Construction works on the theme park begun in earnest in April 2007 following the win for its bid in 2006. The theme park is the second to be open by Universal Studios in Asia, the other one being in Japan. The number of people visiting the theme park has been soaring since its inception in 2010, and is expected to increase with the park's popularity over the years (ABS-CBN, 2011 par20). The park has a total of 24 rides and attractions, most of which are designed for the Singapore market.

Situation analysis

The Universal Studio Singapore target customers include individuals within the Asian region, including in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, China and Vietnam (CNA 2011). Attractions in the theme park have been designed with such customers in mind. Popular movie themes have been incorporated in the park outfit to appeal to enthusiasts of such movies and characters, while different entertainment attractions have been fitted into the park attractions to satisfy the diverse target customers. The theme park is complete with attractions for families, children, business visitors, gamblers and thrill-seekers through a combination of coasters, casinos, museums and marine parks.

The theme park is managed by the Universal Studios group which also owns movie theme parks in Japan, California and Florida. To enhance the park's customer attraction efforts, the larger Resorts World Sentosa opened premium hotels, casinos, museums, shopping malls, dining spots and other customer attractions on site. These acted as collaborators to assist the theme park in attracting and retaining a high number of visitors throughout the year. Movie themes, including "Shrek", "Madagascar", "Transformers" and Hollywood's "Walk of Fame", have been incorporated in the park's design to attract funs of the characters (Daily Travel 2010 par1). The hotels serve different international cuisines and Asian delicacies that appeal to the diverse customers visiting the park.

The Universal Studios Singapore theme park faces competition from another of their establishments, Universal Studios Japan. Similarly, the park competes for customers with Tokyo Disney Resort also in Japan, Everland Resort in Yongin, and Lotte World in Seoul, South Korea. These amusement parks are established vacation destinations in Asia operating for the better part of the year, and each attracting millions of visitors annually. In addition to the existing resorts, other major entertainment companies including MGM and Viacom, a subsidiary of Paramount Pictures, have expressed interest in establishing theme parks in Asia. This will create more competition for Universal Studios Singapore which has attracted more than 2 million visitors within its first year of operations (Channel News Asia 2011 par6).

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) recently announced growth in the country's economy following reviews of economic performance in the first quarter of 2011 (MAS, 2011). This was promoted by increased manufacturing activities and international trade. Moderate growth was experienced in other Asian countries including China, Malaysia and South Korea, particularly prompted by increased export activities. This makes the market attractive for investments, and increases consumers' buying power in the target markets.

Political risk is the risk of loss when investing in a country due to prevailing changes in the country's political structure and legislative policies. Political risk affects payment and profitability of business investments by influencing a country's economic stability, resource reliability, regulative environment, and asset safety and security. Hong Kong, the target market for Universal Studios Singapore, has a low political and economic risk, implying that investments would have a low risk of making losses resulting from unexpected political or economic changes. Similarly, Hong Kong has a low legal and tax risk, implying that its legal structures do not undergo unexpected changes that could cause investment losses. A country-specific risk rating table is provided below.

Table 1: Country-specific risk ratings

Country Current Overall Risk Political Risk

: 25% Economic Risk

: 25% Legal Risk

: 15% Tax Risk

: 15% Operational Risk

: 10% Security Risk

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