Sentosa offers to test new ideas to draw more visitors

The management of Sentosa is looking for fresh proposals on how to draw more visitors, boost its sustainability and make navigating the resort island more convenient.

Businesses with ideas can pitch them to the Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) and pilot projects at low or no cost if their ideas are selected, under a new enterprise scheme to test innovative concepts across the island.

Launched yesterday, the scheme will offer companies reduced or waived venue rental fees as well as infrastructure and other support for a trial period. And if the idea works, it may be rolled out commercially, said SDC assistant chief executive Chin Sak Hin.

Unique offerings, solutions for intra-island travel as well as digital and sustainability initiatives are areas of focus for SDC. Proposals can be submitted on its website until June 30, and visitors to Sentosa may see some of the concepts around the island from next year.

The scheme was among several moves to renew Singapore’s attractions and lend support to the industry announced yesterday.

To complement upcoming parks in the Mandai nature precinct, Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) will be refreshing the Singapore Zoo, Night Safari and River Safari, said Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Chee Hong Tat.

WRS said it has developed a five-year masterplan that “seeks to enhance the distinctiveness of its operating parks… by addressing opportunities for creating immersive exhibits and scaling the delivery of memorable encounters”.

More details will be announced later, it added.

A new mid-sized attraction at the Singapore Flyer – named Time Capsule – will open later this year and feature “experiential media”, while the Nerf Family Entertainment Centre will open in Marina Square in October, Singapore Tourism Board (STB) chief executive Keith Tan said yesterday.

Apart from changing the physical tourism landscape, transformation must also take place within the industry, given challenges such as changing traveller behaviour and preferences, intense competition from other destinations, and “more challenges and constraints” domestically, Mr Tan said in a speech at an industry conference.

In the tourism industry’s bid to become more productive, innovative and digitally savvy, building a steady pipeline of local talent and manpower must be the first priority, he said.

STB will be rolling out several initiatives to help the industry, including the launch of a Tech College to better prepare tourism businesses for the future, as well as a tourism incubator that will foster ideas and test solutions.

Tiffany Fumiko Tay

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