Swifties make pricey pilgrimage to star’s only South-East Asian stop

Sold-out show: Thousands of Swifties descended on Singapore from all over South-East Asia for the Eras Tour. — The Straits Times/ANN

Filipina Charlyn Suizo is in Singapore this week for one reason only: Taylor Swift.

The 30-year-old software engineer, who heads a Philippine group of Swifties, as fans of the singer are known, flew in from Manila on Friday with 17 friends.

She is spending at least US$6,000 (RM28,460) on her flights, concert tickets and accommodation. That is slightly above the average annual household income in her home country.

“This is the biggest amount I have spent for a concert. I never really spent big ... for someone else, just Taylor Swift,” said Suizo, who has splashed out on a VIP ticket costing more than S$1,000 (RM3,530). She plans to see three of Swift’s six performances in Singapore.

Suizo is among thousands of Swifties descending on Singapore this week from all over South-East Asia to catch the American star’s Eras Tour, giving the sluggish local economy a much-needed boost.

Chua Hak Bin, an economist at Maybank, estimates that seven in 10 of the 300,000 concertgoers will be coming in from abroad, spending between S$350mil (RM1.2bil) and S$500mil (RM1.7bil) on hotels, food and entertainment. By comparison, the F1 Singapore Grand Prix has generated around S$2bil (RM7bil) in tourism receipts since it started in 2008, according to the trade ministry.

Meanwhile, analysts at HSBC say hotel rooms in Singapore now cost 30% more than in pre-pandemic 2019.

Edmund Ong, general manager at Trip.com Singapore, said that from March 1-9, the cost of flights into Singapore nearly tripled while accommodation bookings almost quintupled.

Bookings for attractions and tours shot up by more than 2,300%. — Reuters

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