SEOUL - Crab curry pasta with fishballs, or kaya croissant, anyone?
These food creations with a Singapore twist took centre stage at the launch of the Singapore Tourism Board's new brand campaign in Seoul on Friday (Oct 20). The board had first launched its Passion Made Possible campaign in Singapore in late August.
Singapore celebrity pastry chef Janice Wong also presented a dessert art wall inspired, she said, by the city state's flora and fauna. The wall featured orchid-shaped sugar flowers and chocolate balls infused with bak kwa, chilli and gula melaka flavours.
Mr Markus Tan, STB's regional director for North Asia, told The Straits Times the board has boosted marketing efforts and trade engagement in South Korea in recent years to increase awareness of Singapore as a travel destination.
South Korea ranks third after China and Japan in North-east Asia for visitors to Singapore. More than 434,000 Koreans visited Singapore from January to August, a 3.6 per cent increase year-on-year.
South Korean travellers are exploring South-east Asia increasingly, in the wake of soured ties with China over the installation of an American missile shield system in South Korea. South-east Asia is the second most popular holiday destination for Koreans after China.
Mr Tan said: "Singapore offers a all-in-one experience to the Koreans, who like beach resorts and interesting city experiences like shopping and dining."
Singapore's gastronomic melting pot is also a big draw for younger Koreans who are more adventurous about trying new food.
Food blogger Kim Hye Joon, who had 30 meals in the five days she was in Singapore in March, counts Violet Oon's Satay and Grill as her most memorable dining experience. She also raved about pastry chef Cheryl Koh's "awesome" tarts. "Singapore food is definitely the main draw for me. There are so many different types of food and cultures mixed together, creating so many different flavours."
Guest house owner Jung Ji Won, 43, who had her honeymoon in Singapore and Bintan in 1998, plans to revisit the city state next year. "I'm very curious about the new Marina Bay Sands, but the biggest reason to go is still food. I want to try all the different types of street food."