PR Awards 2023
Singapore's iconic Merlion celebrates 50th birthday by going on vacation

Singapore's iconic Merlion celebrates 50th birthday by going on vacation

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Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and homegrown hospitality group Millennium Hotels and Resorts (MHR) have jointly launched "Merlion on Vacation", a virtual adventure that enables players to explore Singapore in the metaverse, win prizes and enjoy a Merlion 50th birthday themed room package at M Social Singapore. M Social Singapore launched the Merlion 50th Birthday Package to mark the Singapore icon’s jubilee, allowing guests to experience Merlion-themed cocktail-mixing and perfume-making workshops.

Players will search for clues to locate the Merlion as he is teleported to Decentraland, a 3D virtual world platform, for a vacation to mark his 50th birthday. Singapore’s Merlion, located at Merlion Park, turned 50 on 15 September this year.

Apart from discovering M Social Decentraland, players can engage in mini-games featuring Singapore landmarks such as Orchard Road, Sungei Buloh, Gardens by the Bay and Maxwell Food Centre. Those who complete the games will enter a raffle for the grand prize of a one-night-stay at M Social Singapore, as well as hotel and F&B vouchers and other merchandise.

merlion on vacation x metaverse

The virtual adventure Merlion on Vacation builds on the opening of M Social Decentraland in May this year. M Social Decentraland occupies prime real estate in Decentraland as it is one tram stop from Genesis Plaza, the starting point for all visitors to the virtual platform.

M Social Decentraland may be in the virtual world but the campaign is grounded in the reality of reaching new customers and generating new revenue sources with the metaverse as the platform, said Saurabh Prakash, group senior vice president, commercial, Millennium Hotels and Resorts.

Prakash added that by getting local and international guests to participate in this campaign, MHR is promoting Singapore and the M Social brand, while "sweetening the pot with rewards for stays and dining that can be used at our physical hotel, M Social Singapore”.

Chee Pey, assistant chief executive, marketing group, Singapore Tourism Board, said that stepping into the metaverse creates opportunities for STB to engage new audiences and connect with travellers in a novel and creative way. The tourism landscape is evolving, and to remain relevant it is critical that we embrace emerging technologies to inspire travel to Singapore and push the boundaries of marketing innovation. “STB is excited to collaborate with hospitality stalwart MHR on this metaverse pilot to reimagine our tourism offerings, and we welcome everyone to join us in exploring Singapore virtually,” Chang added.

To date many other brands have made their foray into the metaverse. Some of these brands include Casetify, Gucci, Maxis, My Little Pony and Armani Beauty.  The "Big Four", Sandbox, Decentraland, Cryptovoxels and Somnium, are also all selling real estate in the metaverse, and 268,645 parcels in total are placed across all four platforms. According to CNBC, Decentraland has 90,600 parcels in February, and they are sold for the ether equivalent of US$14,440 per piece. 

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STB moves iconic Merlion figure to stand in solidarity with WFH measures
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