SINGAPORE: About 2,000 people turned up at the Singapore Botanic Gardens on Saturday (Apr 20) to see travel vlogger Nas Daily at his first meetup since moving to Singapore, according to estimates by Botanic Gardens.
Many of them said they were travel enthusiasts inspired by Nas Daily’s travel videos.
Some of them said they had flown to Singapore from as far as the Ivory Coast, Colombia and Israel to see Nas Daily, whose real name is Nuseir Yassin.
FANS FROM AFAR
Thirty-four-year-old Sabrina Schneider, a German, had rebooked her flight from Tanzania to attend the meet-up. She has been on her own around-the-world trip, inspired by Mr Yassin’s one-minute online videos.
“(Nas Daily is) not about travelling. It’s about everything. He puts up so many interesting topics ... you don’t lose the focus, you don’t lose the attention,” she said.
There were also many Malaysian fans who made the trip to Singapore for the meetup after Mr Yassin - who is not allowed to enter Malaysia - encouraged them to do so.
Mr Luqman Nurhakim and Mr Muhd Qawien Azahar, both 23, had travelled across the Causeway to see Mr Yassin.
They have been fans for about a year and say that his videos allow them to "explore the new places that (they) want to go.
Digital marketing manager Shaleen Nair has been a big fan of Mr Yassin for “a year or two”.
“I find him very inspiring mostly because of the insights that he shares. He shares a lot of insight about individual countries and not just what people post … or what people typically advertise,” she said.
There were people of all ages at the meetup, and some fans brought along their babies and young children.
There were a handful of senior citizens in the crowd, with the oldest CNA spoke to being 65-year-old Neo Kwee Seng. He was there to accompany his son and his grandson, who are fans of Mr Yassin.
Mr Seah is another older fan. He only began watching Mr Yassin’s videos after learning that Mr Yassin was going to settle down in Singapore.
“(He is) such a great influencer. Everything under the sun, everything he says (inspires me),” said Mr Seah, who wanted to be identified only by his surname.
However, not everyone who attended was a fan.
“I just kind of feel like it’s overhyped. Nothing wrong … just feel that maybe the attention can be a bit more on our own local talents,” said Mr Lim, 30, who wanted to be identified only by his surname.
NAS DAILY CHOSE SINGAPORE BECAUSE OF COUNTRY'S CENTRAL LOCATION
Security presence was relatively light on Saturday, with several employees from National Parks Board (NParks) and Botanic Gardens on standby, while Mr Yassin had his own security team.
According to Botanic Gardens, no special arrangements were made for the event and their presence there was their “normal in-house security”.
At the fan meet, which took place between 4pm and 6pm, Mr Yassin explained his reasons for moving to Singapore, citing the efficiency of traffic and the central location of the country.
He also said that he had hired two Singaporeans for his company.
Mr Yassin, who has made several videos on Singapore, has been outspoken about how he is "really fascinated" with Singapore.
Some of his videos have touched on how Singapore's "passport is a lot of people's dream", how "you're not gonna get any road rage" in the country and how its landfills are so "insanely clean" they "almost feel like resorts".
However, some critics have also taken issue with the overly positive nature of his work, as well as the appearance of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his video The Almost Perfect Country in September last year.