SINGAPORE, April 7 – Three new tourist attractions will be opening their doors to visitors here in the coming months, including a popular New York attraction that will be making its first international foray.
And the Government is also launching a tender for a new attraction concept at the vacant site between Somerset skate park and Killiney Road later this year, said Singapore Tourism Board (STB) chief executive Keith Tan today.
One of the new tourist attractions slated to open soon is New York-based The Museum of Ice Cream, which will be opening its first outlet outside the United States by the second half of this year.
The museum, which is dedicated to all things related to the sweet treat, is known for its beautifully decorated rooms that will appeal to those looking to take Instagram-worthy photos.
Another attraction set to launch later this year is Slingshot. Tan said the thrill ride concept, which will be located at Clarke Quay, will be Asia’s tallest.
And a third attraction is the SkyHelix Sentosa, which is slated to be ready in 2022. Tan said this will be Singapore’s first open-air panoramic attraction that will allow visitors scenic views of Sentosa and the Southern Waterfront.
“These projects are a welcomed breath of fresh air amongst all the negativity and bad news from the last year,” said Tan during the Tourism Industry Conference, an annual platform for the tourism and travel trade industry.
“Since the pandemic hit, we’ve focused on how to weather this long winter. Now it is time for us to think how we can prepare for the future, what we need to do today, so that we can thrive and succeed tomorrow.”
This year’s conference was held both virtually and with limited numbers on-site at the Suntec City Convention Centre due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Making Singapore a wellness, sustainability destination
Tan also spoke about STB’s plans to refresh tourism attractions and precincts in Singapore.
One such plan involves an effort by STB, alongside the Urban Redevelopment Authority and the Singapore Land Authority, to launch a tender for a new attraction concept at the vacant site between Somerset skate park and Killiney Road later this year.
He also urged industry players to consider how Singapore can become a leading urban wellness destination where “wellness offerings and experiences are fully integrated into the daily life of a modern city”.
He noted that this is “a serious challenge, as wellness is not a top of mind association with Singapore yet”, adding that if Singapore wants to stay relevant for “quality tourists of the future”, it needs to adapt to meet their expectations and demands.
He cited Shanghai and London as cities that have created urban wellness centres and clinics, and posed the possibility of building more wellness-related business-to-business or business-to-customer events in Singapore.
Still, he noted that Singapore will not be starting from scratch in this area, as the Republic already has heritage health brands such as Yue Hwa and Eu Yan Sang, which already have a growing following in the region.
Another challenge that Tan posed to the audience was whether Singapore could become one of the world’s top sustainable and innovative urban destinations.
“We know there is a clear link between well-being and nature,” he said. “Can we create more experiences in Singapore that support this link building on our rich and, frankly, underappreciated green and blue resources here in Singapore?”
Tan said environmental sustainability is an important area the tourism sector must focus on as it is “one of the most important considerations for future travellers”.
New funds, resources for industry
Tan also announced the STB will launch today the Tourism Technology Transformation Cube (Tcube), a resource to aid tourism businesses with their digital transformation.
Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing, who gave the opening address at the conference, meanwhile said the Government will be topping up the Tourism Development fund by S$68.5 million (RM211 million).
Chan added that other avenues of support for the sector, such as the Business Improvement Fund and the Training Industry Professional in Tourism grant, will be extended till the end of March next year. — TODAY