Singapore – February 25, 2009 – Singapore’s tourism sector generated an estimated US$9.9 billion in tourism receipts in 2008, setting a new record for TR with a growth of 5% over 2007. Singapore also welcomed 10.1 million visitor arrivals last year. The hospitality industry ended with 81% average occupancy rate (AOR), and an average room rate (ARR) of US$164 from January to December 2008. The top five U.S. visitor arrivals to Singapore hailed from California (121,850), Texas (35,050), New York (27,700), Illinois (15,450) and Florida (15,020).
Many new and exciting developments have come to Singapore in recent months, while others on the horizon offer a glimpse of how Singapore plans to transform its sector into a must-visit destination.
FLYING HIGH: THE SINGAPORE FLYER
The Singapore Flyer, an architectural and engineering marvel and the world’s tallest observation wheel, opened in March 2008. The Flyer consists of a 492-foot high wheel built over a three-story terminal building, giving it a total height of more than 541 feet (as big as a 42 story building). It exceeds The Star of Nanchang (currently the tallest) by 16 feet and the London Eye (currently the largest) by 49 feet. The state-of-the-art, luxury wheel features 28 large capsules, each customizable and capable of holding nearly 30 people, that provides panoramic views of Marina Bay and the South China Sea and Singapore’s downtown skyline.
OPENING GETS CLOSER FOR INTEGRATED RESORTS
Construction for the SGD$5 billion (US$3.3 billion) Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort (IR), 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 Corporation, the IR will house Singapore’s first casino, extensive convention facilities, three hotel towers, and a world-class retail, dining and entertainment. 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. For more info: www.marinabaysands.com.
A second integrated resort will open in 2010 on Singapore’s Sentosa Island. Resorts World at Sentosa, being developed by Genting International at a cost of SGD$6 billion (US$4 billion), will comprise 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, the world’s largest marine life park, a maritime museum, convention facilities and retail, dining spa and entertainment and gaming options. For more info: www.resortsworldatsentosa.com.
FULL STEAM AHEAD: INTERNATIONAL CRUISE TERMINAL
Singapore is developing a new international cruise terminal (ICT) that will double the country’s cruise berths to four by the year 2010. The new ICT, 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 major hotels.
The two berths will complement the current two berths at the Singapore Cruise Centre at HarbourFront. In addition to the ICT, the Marina Bay region includes the new Singapore Flyer and several projects opening in the next couple years: the Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort, the Gardens by the Bay Marina City Park and the country’s new sports hub.
F1 NIGHT RACE IN ASIA TO RETURN FOR A SECOND TIME
The second F1™ SingTel Singapore Grand Prix will take place on September 27, 2009, on a street circuit of public roads around the Marina Bay area of Singapore. The race made history in 2008 by becoming the first night time street race in F1™ history and received great acclaim for the design of its exciting circuit. More than 100,000 spectators came to witness the awesome event in 2008 which was also broadcasted to millions of fans around the world. For more info: http://www.singaporegp.sg/.
NEW HOTELS IN BLOOM IN SINGAPORE
There are several much-anticipated new hotels that are scheduled to open doors in 2009. The Capella Singapore, set on 30 acres of rolling land on idyllic Sentosa Island is the design of renowned architect Norman Foster’s design firm, Foster + Partners. Scheduled to open on March 30, 2009, 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 with each overlooking a private garden. For more information visit www.capellasingapore.com.
Also scheduled for a March opening is the Ibis Singapore on Bencoolen, being billed by parent company Accor Hotels as “the first international economy hotel in Singapore” and is located in the business and cultural centre of the island nation. The property will offer 538 modern rooms featuring high ceilings and large bay windows, and is located a mere 20 minutes away from Changi Airport. Visit www.ibishotel.com for more information. The stylish and hip boutique 336-room hotel, Park Hotel Clarke Quay, is located along the picturesque Singapore River and also opens in 2009. For more information visit: www.parkhotelgroup.com.
ST. REGIS OPENS FIRST HOTEL IN SOUTHEAST ASIA IN SINGAPORE’S ORCHARD ROAD DISTRICT
The new St. Regis Hotel Singapore, which opened in February 2008, offers guests the ultimate in luxury and convenience. Ideally located in the uptown Orchard Road shopping and embassy district, the 20-story hotel is in close proximity to the Singapore Botanic Gardens, the U.S. Embassy and several of Singapore’s top hospitals. Each of the 299 luxuriously appointed guest rooms and suites feature opulent yet modern furnishings and personal butlers to provide ever-present attention to detail.
Additionally, the hotel features the Remede Spa, an onsite health spa offering a myriad of customized treatments in nine decadent rooms, as well as a fitness center overlooking the outdoor pool. The St. Regis Singapore is the brand’s fourth hotel in Asia Pacific and its first location in Southeast Asia. For rates and other information: http://www.starwoodhotels.com/stregis/index.html.
MPI OPENS FIRST ASIA-PACIFIC OFFICE IN SINGAPORE
Meeting Planners International (MPI) has opened its fourth office worldwide in Singapore to support the organization’s new vision to build a rich global meetings industry community. The Asia-Pacific office will complement MPI’s global presence that currently includes its world headquarters in Dallas; a Canadian office in Toronto; and a Europe, Middle-East and Africa office in Luxembourg.