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Posted: 18 Mar 2012 | 4:33 pm
Perhaps the best lead in to last week's HICAP Update Southeast Asia Conference should have been "Dorothy we aren't in Kansas anymore (but even better we are in Singapore).
Indeed follow the yellow brick road or as became the conference tome - visit your money in Singapore.
The lead in sessions on Singapore's hotel market and followed by a shock and awe presentation on infrastructure, long term numbers and oh's and ah's about the numbers - tourism, hotel rates, and occupancy.
Certainly the island Republic is the region's superstar of the moment, and deservedly so. Though I find it hard to sit still through the sessions in what appears to be almost a utopian view and the sheer perfection of it all.
For most of us we don't live in a perfect world. Take sessions on Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. Yes political and economic risk run wild in much of Asia, poor planning, no defined master planning and a bit of living on the edge.
It's a contrast, vivid and somehow disturbing. Coming back from a few days in Singapore where nothing bad happens, you realize cars don't stop at traffic signals, trash is heaped out of trucks at a frantic pace and getting through the airport mimics an Ironman event.
Southeast Asia has a success story in Singapore but for the rest, it's an uphill struggle in the harsh light of reality.
Come to think of it, edgy reality is not all that bad, and given a choice I still continue to like my island of choice.
As for HICAP the mood remained upbeat, attendance was great and the industry continues to be on the mood for expansion. While the world remains a mixed up crazy place, the region continues to move forward.
A column featuring environmental issues and conservation around the island. Click here for more Green Reports check out the latest story from the leading experts:
While we hope for the best that Phuket's new airport expansion will have some green focus, it's encouraging to view Singapore's Changi as setting a global standard.
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