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Date [ 2014-01-15, 04:49 ]

Pushing the island of Sentosa towards greater tourism development.

Resorts_World_Sentosa will bear the core of investments.

(Kuala Lumpur=Koreanpress) by Ramani Rathir = On December 26, 2013, S. Iswaran, Minister, Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Home Affairs and Second Minister for Trade & Industry, launched the Sentosa Habourfront Business Association. It reflected on the Sentosa Harbourfront precinct which has undergone a significant transformation over the last five years.

The government aims to turn the habourfront as a vibrant and attractive tourist destination. Visitors can enjoy a vacation on an island resort and yet be a stone’s throw from some of the best shopping, dining and entertainment in the region. Some of the major attractions are the Universal Studios theme park and iFly Singapore. After a hectic day at the resort on can unwind at a beach or hop onto a cruise. It aims to provide something for everyone.
 
The Minister pointed out, “The expected rise in Asian tourism presents Singapore with the opportunity to continue to attract discerning travellers who seek differentiated and value-added experiences. Looking further ahead, the Sentosa Harbourfront precinct has the potential to become even more exciting and vibrant, with the planned relocation by 2027 of the City and Pasir Panjang Terminals to Tuas, which will free up about 925 hectares of waterfront land.”
 
The 14 founding members of SHBA, from the attractions, cruise, dining, entertainment, hotel and retail sectors, have come together to promote greater business collaboration and synergy.  It is hoped this will help the development of Sentosa Harbourfront, and strengthen the identity of the precinct as a must-see leisure and MICE destination in the region. 

Three areas of the SHBA’s collective efforts are expected to yield a tangible impact. The first is the MICE sector, which is a highly competitive space and one that Singapore is keen to expand on. 

Collectively, the Sentosa Harbourfront precinct holds over 3,000 room keys from 14 hotels.  With its distinctive value proposition as a leisure destination, SHBA can work to promote the precinct as a preferred MICE destination in the region.  The Sentosa Harbourfront now has to contend very strongly with other resort destinations in the region that have attracted substantial incentives events, such as Bali, Phuket, Cebu and Hainan Island.
 
Second is SHBA’s curating effort of the precinct-wide content and events development, which will help to differentiate it from competitors who may be catching up in terms of hardware and infrastructure. 

The association is aware, that critically, it is the software that really animates the precinct identity and attracts repeat visitors. As such SHBA is planning its first signature event in April 2014, in conjunction with the Easter holidays, which will enliven the Sentosa Harbourfront precinct with activities across all its members’ properties.  SHBA also plans to bring in anchor international events and create other signature events for the second half of 2014.
 
Thirdly, SHBA aims to make a difference in staff training and development.  There is much potential for SHBA members to collaborate and reap economies of scale in staff training and development, which will enhance productivity and help workers enhance their skills. 
 
In an effort to bring about these three major developments, SHBA has pledged to invest S$3 million dollars in the next three to five years in a destination marketing fund to promote the precinct through joint promotions, events and campaigns. 

Resorts World Sentosa, which is currently the secretariat for the Association, has committed to fund 50 percent of the entire marketing expenditure as a demonstration of its commitment to the precinct.
 
Iswaran felt,” With such strong endorsement and commitment from the precinct partners, I am confident that SHBA will succeed in its mission to develop new ideas and initiatives, that will contribute to quality growth in the Sentosa Harbourfront precinct, and Singapore’s tourism industry.”

abc@koreanpress.net

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