Singapore – Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing announced on April 3 (Wednesday) that Singapore’s two Integrated Resorts (IRs) will be investing around S$9 billion “to expand and refresh their non-gaming components” in the country.
Marina Bay Sands (MBS) will be creating a new iconic hotel tower while Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) will be adding two new hotels and expanding Universal Studio’s Singapore attractions.
“When we made the decision to have two Integrated Resorts (IRs) in 2005, we wanted them to catalyse new tourism investments and industry growth and enhance our range of tourism offerings. The IRs have successfully delivered on the jobs, tourism and economic fronts – employing around 20,000 workers of which 65% are Singaporeans and contributing 1-2% of our annual GDP,” said Minister Chan.
4th MBS tower
With over 1,000 all-suite rooms, the fourth hotel tower will be located beside the three iconic MBS towers. It will feature a sky roof with a swimming pool, a 15,000-seater entertainment area, a dramatic atrium and terraces, ballrooms, and more.
The current total projected budget for the expansion is S$4.5 billion.
The expected date of completion has not yet been announced.
It has been nine years since MBS opened its door in Singapore and has attracted more than 330 million visitors. Last year, the Sands Expo and Convention Centre alone hosted 3,680 events.
The new tower is expected to boost leisure and business tourism in Singapore. “New luxury hotel accommodations and a world-class entertainment venue are exactly the catalysts we need to drive additional visitation to Singapore, and specifically to Marina Bay Sands,” said Rob Goldstein, President and Chief Operating Officer of Las Vegas Sands, the company partnering with MBS for the project.
Minion Park and Super Nintendo World
Resorts World Sentosa has also announced major plans for “history-making expansions” to create a new wave of tourism growth in Singapore.
Budgeted at S$4.5 billion, RWS will be adding over 164,000 square metres of new and exciting attractions, entertainment and lifestyle offerings, such as a Minion Park and Super Nintendo World in Universal Studios Singapore.
Both RWS major attractions, Universal World Singapore and S.E.A. Aquarium, will be experiencing a substantial increase in size, with S.E.A. Aquarium expanding to more than three times its present size, according to an RWS press release. Plans to rebrand the attraction to Singapore Oceanarium are also in motion.
Since its opening in 2010, RWS has welcomed more than 20 million international and local visitors annually, taking more than 33 percent of all international visitor arrivals into Singapore.
RWS is one of Singapore’s largest private sector employers, currently housing over 13,000 employees. The expansion is set to employ another 2,800.
“RWS has been a major game-changer and growth engine in the last ten years in transforming Singapore’s tourism landscape. This major reinvestment and expansion here in Singapore underlines our belief in the business model and the future opportunities that lie ahead when we complete the development,” said Mr Tan Hee Teck, CEO of RWS.
Operators MBS and RWS successfully extended their exclusive rights to operate casinos in Singapore until the end of 2030, to offset the commercial profitability of the new attractions.
The operators were also permitted to expand their existing casinos given that the daily levy and annual levy will be increased from S$100 to S$150 and S$2,000 to S$3,000 respectively.
The increase in levy would take effect on April 4, 2019.
MBS has been given the option to take an additional 2,000sqm of land for casino expansion while RWS was allowed 500sqm.
In addition to their current 2,500 gambling machines each, MBS and RWS were permitted to increase them by 1,000 and 850 respectively.
The new attractions and expansions are set to create a novelty factor to the stagnant state of leisure destinations in Singapore.-TISG
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