A range of new developments were unveiled by the Singapore Tourism Board at a breakfast meeting today in New York City, as the destination seeks to stem the tide of falling tourism numbers. The new chief executive of the Singapore Tourism Board, Kah Peng Aw, was on hand to outline some of the most recent tourist highlights in Singapore. Among them:
The skyline of downtown Singapore's business and hotel district
• Construction for the Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort, a casino-based leisure hub in Singapore’s Marina Bay near the downtown financial districts continues at pace to open end of 2009. Developed by Las Vegas Sands Corp., the Marina Bay Sands will house Singapore’s first casino, extensive convention facilities, three hotel towers and a retail, dining and entertainment complex. Opening nearby in 2010 will be Gardens by the Bay, a 250-acre park in the heart of the city featuring waterfront gardens, green sanctuaries and scenic settings.
• In 2010, Resorts World at Sentosa, on Singapore’s Sentosa Island, will open, comprising Universal Studios Singapore, the theme park’s only Southeast Asia facility with 18 out of 24 attractions being brand-new, a casino, six themed hotels, a marine life park, a maritime museum, convention facilities and retail, dining spa and entertainment and gaming options.
• Singapore is developing a new international cruise terminal that will double the country’s cruise berths to four by the year 2010. The new terminal, with two berths to accommodate the largest ships currently in service, as well as those on-order, is being built at Marina South and will be just 10 minutes from Singapore’s financial district and the majority of hotels.
• There are several highly anticipated new hotels scheduled to open in 2009. The Capella Singapore, set on 30 acres on Sentosa Island, is scheduled to open on March 30. The resort is housed in two colonial bungalows built in the 1880s complemented by a new hotel extension and exquisite garden villas. The Capella Singapore will also offer suites with private plunge pools and an intimate spa with nine treatment suites, each overlooking a private garden.
Also scheduled for a March opening is the Ibis Singapore on Bencoolen, located in the business and cultural center of Singapore. The property will offer 538 modern rooms featuring high ceilings and large bay windows, and is located 20 minutes away from Changi Airport.
The stylish and hip boutique 336-room hotel, Park Hotel Clarke Quay, is located along the picturesque Singapore River and also opens in 2009.
•The second F1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix will take place on September 27, on a street circuit of public roads around the Marina Bay area of Singapore. The race made history in 2008 by becoming the first nighttime street race in F1 history.
• Singapore has been chosen as the host city for the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in 2010. The Youth Olympic Games will draw approximately 15,000 attendees including top young global sporting talents to Singapore.
In addition to these ventures, Kah Peng says that the growth of low-cost carriers such as JetStar Asia, Tiger Airways and Ceba Pacific, have made travel to Singapore more economical and convenient, along with the expansion of Changi Airport. She noted that “outbound travel for U.S. visitors generated an all-time high in 2007, much of it in business travel,” adding that the Tourism Board is forecasting a dip to 9 million to 9.5 million visitors this year, down from 10.1 million in 2008. Tourism revenue is expected to be approximately $12 billion to $12.5 billion, down from last year’s $14.8 billion, she said.
For more information, visit the Singapore Tourism Board USA official website at www.visitsingapore-usa.com.