Visitors can look forward to more reasons to be in Orchard Road
Ms. Tay Huey Ying, Head of Research and Consultancy, Singapore 郑惠匀, 研究与咨询部主管 (新加坡)
The Singapore Tourism Board, Urban Redevelopment Authority and National Parks Board unveiled today, plans to strengthen Orchard Road’s position as a must-visit lifestyle destination.
Of all the ideas proposed today, the family-friendly lifestyle zone planned for the Dhoby Ghaut precinct is perhaps one that is fresh for Orchard Road and has good potential in attracting sustainable crowds if done well. However, given the outdoor nature, enticing visitorship during the day when the weather is most likely to be hot will remain a challenge.
The plan to inject more street activities at the centre of Orchard Road is to be cheered though this must be carefully curated to ensure the offerings contain elements of surprise that can delight visitors. Above all else, they should not replicate what are available inside the malls. Drawing patrons to this outdoor pedestrian mall in the daytime when the weather tends to be hot will continue to pose a challenge.
The differentiated experiences planned for each sub-precinct will provide varied options for a wide group of visitors thereby broadening the pool of captive market that could contribute to the crowd and enliven Orchard Road. The provision of different activity zones could also provide reasons for visitors to linger and extend the time spent in Orchard Road. As well, this strategy could revitalise some forgotten parts of Orchard Road.
However, there is a need for a common theme to seal the various components of Orchard Road and strengthen its identity. One possibility is to position Orchard Road as the most instagrammable shopping street in the region/globally, anchored by specially curated instagrammable finds spread throughout Orchard Road.
At the end of the day, it is still critical for mall landlords to do their part to avoid cookie cutter malls and up the ante on their offerings, especially in gearing up to cater to the changing socio-economic behaviour of the technologically-savvy millennials.
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