On the heels of nonstop flights from Sea-Tac and ‘Crazy Rich Asians,’ Singapore hopes to increase U.S. tourism from Seattle

As Seattleites have become more interested in travel to Southeast Asia, Singapore’s tourism board is hoping to increase tourism from the Pacific Northwest to the small country located just south of Malaysia.

One entry point they’re harnessing to pique Seattleites’ interest in Singapore? The movie “Crazy Rich Asians” that premiered in summer 2018 and became an instantaneous hit. The film amassed more than $230 million at the box office and became the highest-grossing rom-com of the last 10 years, and the 6th highest grossing ever. Most of the movie took place and was filmed in Singapore, showcasing some of the glamour and lifestyle in the country.

To aid in this cause, “Crazy Rich Asians” star Tan Kheng Hua came to Seattle recently to anchor a press event organized by the Singapore Tourism Board.

Tan is one of the few Singaporean actresses who had roles in “Crazy Rich Asians.” Although she ironically played an American character in the movie — she was the mom of Constance Wu’s character, Rachel Chu — Tan, 56, is a veteran of the Singapore film scene who is now based in Los Angeles as she tries to make inroads in Hollywood.

“I’m very proud of where I come from. Everything in my life has been defined by me being Singaporean,” Tan said, adding that she visits Singapore often and misses Singaporean coffee — called “kopi.”

Initially, the Singapore Tourism Board was skeptical of how the movie would portray the country, but was ultimately impressed at how it captured Singaporean …