Paving way to Sentosa's future, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Paving way to Sentosa's future

This article is more than 12 months old

New attractions to keep Sentosa relevant

A 450m-long elevated walkway, offering sea views as visitors stroll from Sentosa's integrated resort to its beaches, is part of plans to help the attraction keep pulling in crowds.

There will also be a new outdoor attraction on a 1ha plot of sloping land between Imbiah Lookout and Siloso Beach while the island's Merlion will be revamped later this year. And in August, Singapore's first 50m-tall bungee tower will open on Siloso Beach.

These additions, the Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) hopes, will keep the island competitive as a regional tourist spot.

"We are excited by the upcoming developments," said SDC chief executive Quek Swee Kuan yesterday at a media briefing.

Visitor numbers to Sentosa has tripled since Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) opened in 2010. There were 19.5 million visitors in 2015.

Crucial to the new plans is the construction of the elevated walkway across the Merlion Gateway, a 12ha precinct that spans RWS, past the Merlion Plaza and onto the island's beaches.

The walkway, scheduled to be up by 2021, will be wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs and strollers.

The Gateway links pedestrians to key transport nodes such as a cable car station and two monorail stations.

The walkway, when completed, will be able to carry more pedestrians than the current overhead bridge.

Paving way to Sentosa

SDC has called for teams to submit an "expression of interest" comprising a plan for the redevelopment.

A separate tender will be called in early 2019 for construction.

"The redevelopment of the Merlion Gateway precinct is a key near-term project that will pave the way for Sentosa's next phase of growth," said Mr Quek. "To us, this is a no-regrets move. It is part of our overall connectivity plan without which, ...we can't bring footfall in and bring footfall out."

Last month, SDC called a tender for an outdoor attraction between Imbiah Lookout and Siloso Beach that "combines nature and adventure elements".

Situated on a slope, it will be able to "leverage the site's gradient to provide an entertaining... experience", it said.

Meanwhile, the Skyline Luge Sentosa will add two tracks later this year, in addition to its existing two.

SDC is also developing a 2030 masterplan to "strengthen our position as a world-class leisure destination by enhancing the attractiveness of our various offerings and transport connectivity, while ensuring the efficient use of land, environmental sustainability and protection of our popular beaches".

This includes repositioning the island from a day destination to a "day-to-night" destination, he added.

Sentosa has been experimenting with after-dark activities, such as night tours of Fort Siloso.

Ms Alicia Seah, director of marketing communications at travel agency Dynasty Travel, said some attractions at Sentosa are "quite aged".

Welcoming the changes, she said Sentosa's new attractions would draw repeat visitors to Singapore, and encourage visitors to stay longer.