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Global Summer Programme: IDIS 102

This guide contains print and electronic resources for courses offered in the SMU Global Summer Programme 2016

IDIS102 The Business of Fun by Mr. Darrell Metzger

The business of “fun” is often misunderstood as a business that is not serious, does not require much expertise and sometimes perceived with low entry barriers.

“Fun” needs to be put into perspective: the Business of “Fun” embodies leisure, entertainment and recreation activities. Fun is also about travel and tourism. If we look at “fun” from how our 24-hour day, most of how we preoccupy ourselves between work and sleep is within the realm of “fun”.

In reality, “fun” should be deemed as the sociocultural fabric of a country, city and community.

From an organizational perspective, “fun” is also about a corporate culture that encourages creativity, innovation and customer-centric decision-making, therefore transcends business sectors and industries.

The key lies in how we reshape, recalibrate and realign our thinking and perspective in determining the value proposition of destinations, resorts and in general, places. While the perspective becomes more strategic and holistic, the strategy takes on a more emotive approach in engineering and developing a one-to-one relationship with the guest, customer and consumer. This concept applies not only to tourism, leisure and recreation, also to many other industries where customer engagement and competitive differentiation are keys to a sustainable business strategy.

Through case studies from global leaders in the leisure entertainment business like Disney, Merlin Entertainment and Universal Studios; Asia’s leading destinations and resorts – Hong Kong’s Ocean Park, Australia’s Gold Coast and Singapore’s Sentosa Island; and, the industry’s leading experience engineers, students will have a deeper “behind-the-scenes” appreciation of how mindful and meaningful experience are created and delivered. Out-of-classroom sessions will bring theoretical concepts and practical insights into the real-world context.

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Explain how “fun” is a social, economic and political binder for a country or city
  • Appreciate the various perspectives of the “fun” business
  • Identify the commercial and economic business models of a leisure investment
  • Develop a corporate culture and structure to sustain a “fun” business
  • Identify future trends that will impact the “fun” business
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