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Travel and Tours

 April 21, 2010
Singapore Forecasts Record Number Of Visitors

 The Singapore Tourism Board announced its forecasts for the tourism industry for 2010: 11.5 to 12.5 million in visitor arrivals and $12.6 - $13.3 billion in tourism receipts. This optimistic forecast can be attributed to Singapore's dramatic transformation as a result of multi-billion dollar investments in new tourism infrastructure. 2010 will mark the year of grand openings in Singapore - from two integrated resorts to Gardens by the Bay, three major waterfront gardens aimed at cementing the Lion City's reputation as "The City in a Garden." The island nation's new International Cruise Terminal, a $320- $350 million facility which is expected to be unveiled in 2011 will double the city's cruise-handling capacity and be able to accommodate the world's largest cruise ships, such as the Oasis class ships which are currently being built by Royal Caribbean Cruises.

Commenting on the outlook for the industry, Ms. Aw Kah Peng, STB's chief executive, said "Despite last year being an exceptionally challenging one, the tourism industry weathered it credibly. With the global travel industry expected to recover this year and with Singapore offering an even more compelling suite of tourism experiences, including the two Integrated Resorts (IRs) that open this year, we are confident that the sector will be able to register its best performance to date."

The $4.4 billion Resorts World Sentosa, one of the world's most extensive integrated resorts built in a record time of less than three years, opened ahead of schedule on January 20, 2010. Phase One opening of the integrated resort included four signature hotels - Festive Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel Singapore, Crockfords Tower and Hotel Michael - offering a combined inventory of 1,350 rooms and 10 restaurants. Other facilities include the resort's Compass Ballroom, 26 function rooms, a 1,600-seat Festive Grand theatre, its luxurious casino and the Southeast Asia's only Universal Studios theme park. Supporting the attractions are a 3,500-lot car-park facility, restaurants, retail stores, entertainment and public attractions that include Emmy-award winner Jeremy Railton's Lake of Dreams and Chamber of Treasures. Resorts World Sentosa will open the world's largest Marine Life Park, a Maritime Experiential Museum, a destination spa and two remaining hotels - Equarius Hotel and Spa Villas - with a total of 500 rooms in Phase Two later in 2010.

The $5.5 billion Marina Bay Sands (MBS) integrated resort has also announced its "preview opening" on April 27, 2010. Following MBS' opening is the unveiling of the Fullerton Heritage, a historic wharf project featuring dining and retail and Fullerton Bay Hotel (both slated for 2010); the futuristic Gardens by the Bay in 2011; the all-new International Cruise Terminal in 2012; a River Safari, which will be Asia's first river-themed animal park, opening in 2011; and the National Art Gallery which will be a new visual arts institution contributing to establishing Singapore as a regional and international hub for visual arts.

Singapore will offer an exciting year round calendar of leisure and business events that includes new events such as the Asia Fashion Exchange, the inaugural Youth Olympic Games and LIVE! Singapore, to returning signature events such as the SINGTEL SINGAPORE FORMULA ONE GRAND PRIX, F1 ROCKS and Singapore International Water Week. Collectively, these new developments and year-round calendar of events will enhance Singapore's stature as a vibrant global city with a distinctive lifestyle that draws repeat visitors.