Singapore-based COMO Holdings is a diversified lifestyle company, with hotels and resorts around the world. In this interview, Olivier Jolivet discusses the competitive advantages of Singapore as a tourism and gastronomy destination.
What would you describe as a key competitive advantage of Singapore in attracting tourists?
Singapore reflects the mix of Asian diversity. Multiculturalism is a key component of Singapore identity. It ticks all the boxes of an Asian tourist. At the same time, it's a very safe country. It's very easy to travel, people are genuinely friendly and always welcoming, so it's a great place to be, to visit and to come back as well. In term of experience, there is always something new in Singapore, whether it's culture, whether it's arts or whether for conferences that have been on the map for the last few years.
Your group is present in the food and beverage sector through COMO Dempsey. How would you qualify the food tourism ecosystem here in Singapore and what is the objective behind COMO Dempsey?
The food sector is very competitive in Singapore because the local food is extremely good and very diversified. COMO Dempsey is the vision of our founder Mrs. Ong. It’s a lifestyle destination that nurtures and cultivates creativity in fashion, food, directional design and new concepts. COMO Dempsey comprises of COMO Cuisine, showcasing the best food you can find across our COMO Hotels and Resorts around the world, Candlenut, a Michelin-starred Peranakan restaurant, The Dempsey Cookhouse & Bar by Jean-Georges Vongerichten as well as Ippoh Tempura Bar and COMO Marketplace. Today when people are going to a place they don't just want to have a single food experience or design experience, they want to have all kinds of experiences at the same time. With that in mind, we also opened a Dover Street Market as part of the destination, so you have the fashion component as well. We are going to have even more lifestyle elements in the future, because COMO is not only about hospitality, food or fashion; it is about lifestyle and wellness.
Does the Singapore brand help you in your value preposition?
Yes, absolutely. Singapore is safe and stable, with a well-educated population. It has credibility and a positive image worldwide. COMO is a Singaporean brand and it has been curated in Singapore.