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Why Singapore Needs A World Class Airport

IMB_SingaporeChangi_expchangi2 Singapore Changi International is one of the best airports in the world. Despite being a tiny country, Singapore is home to one of the largest international hubs for air travel in southeast Asia, and home to one of the best airlines in the world – Singapore Airlines. Why would such a tiny country need such a huge government supported global airline and such a world class airport? For any place, the airport is the gateway to success. Having a well developed airport allows you to attract more flights and more flights means more tourists and more business travelers. More importantly, businesses looking to set up international outposts are very concerned about the Airport. Not having a good one could mean losing millions or billions in investment or tourism income.

IMB_SingaporeChangi_bgarden1 Singapore does even more to make their airport a destination through innovative cross promotions, the long standing "Singapore Stopover" – and even the "World's First Airport Butterfly Garden." All add to the appeal of Singapore as a destination for work and leisure.  So why do so few cities focus on building a world class airport? Obviously, it's expensive – but usually it's because the link between the airport and prosperity is not always immediately obvious. There are other things like roads, climate, culture, education, accommodation and attractions that matter – I'm not saying they don't, but the airport is pivotal. Many things in business are the same way — including social media. The real power of customer conversations, authenticity and everything that social media can bring aren't always obvious. Sometimes it's just easier or more critical in the short term to fix the potholes (figuratively speaking). 

Eventually, every great company realizes that having a quality product or experience is only half the battle. The other half is having a good gateway (or airport) to get your customers there.

6 thoughts on “Why Singapore Needs A World Class Airport”

  1. I think a certain generation who grew up playing the likes of SimCity have a certain novel insight into such things. Of course SimCity was modeled (and a rather simple model) on what real cities do, but having grown up playing SimCity, SimCity 2000 and SimCity 4 (skipped 3), realizing that at a certain point, a city should create various amenities beyond the basic police, fire stations and school. An international airport was part of being a bustling metropolis (among other things like stadiums and ports).

    This is a really great insight into something children like myself may have learned indirectly from one of the first games that did more than just entertain you, but taught you as well. Rohit, you hit the nail on the head with this one and it’s part of the reason names like “O’Hare”, “Dullus” and “Hartsfield-Jackson” are part of the basic vernacular of people in business. Great airports help attract great business.

  2. nice analogy. so true and I need to start using social media for my business and using other “gateways” thanks for the tips. I will have to bookmark your blog and come back for more tips now!

  3. This is a great analogy to illustrate the role social media plays businesses!

    Being a Singaporean, I know the importance of having an important icon such as the Singapore Changi Airport. The moment a visitor touches down in Singapore, he/she will be greeted by the beautiful airport and the beautiful highways with huge raintrees lining up on both sides of it.
    Talk about a breath-taking first impressions! 🙂

    Social media plays that important gateway for visitors to know businesses. How apt is the analogy!

    Willy Lim

  4. Great post Rohit,

    Originally from Perth, Western Australia, it seemed any international flight I went on when I lived there had a stop at Changi. It’s a wonderful airport, I’ve always looked forward to stopping there. I would have been to the airport close to a dozen times, but never into the city proper which is my own loss I am told!

    I think the value of an airport as a destination is being seen in the Middle East with the recent developments in Dubai and Doha seen as critical to sustaining both cities as commercial and tourism hubs. Shifting the stopover paradigm from a hassle to destination adds an incredible amount of value to any city’s brand.


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Rohit is the author of 8 books on trends, the future of business, building a more human brand with storytelling and how to create a more diverse and inclusive world.

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