IR, Synergy & Tourism Brand Name

Posted: February 12, 2010 in Uncategorized

Commentary by:   Professional Ground, Panel on Casino

12th Feb, 2010

The Straits Times (Singapore) today splashes out news of Resort World Sentosa’s (RWS) less than satisfactory announcement of their “opening” this Sunday.  Comments by various parties in the news are scanned and attached below.

After going through The Straits Times’ stories about RWS’s “opening”, we would like to highlight the following unusual happening,

(a)  RWS announced this event as an “opening” of the IR (ahead of Marina Bay Sands) and that includes one of the unfinished major item – Universal Theme park. Yet the theme park is not ready for operation.   It clearly looks like a “Cut-corner” job of RWS, by stating that the theme park IS READY for viewing by public at the same time of casino opening and will charge a $10 entrance fee!  To quote one of the travel trade operators, “I have never seen a theme park resort open in so many stages…”.

(b)   Industry people feel that it is strange that the authorities allow such an opening to go on, without giving specific information whether the IR has indeed satisfies ALL the contractual requirement for a proper opening.  This is not the usual style of Singapore’s reaction to public query on major projects.

(c)  If indeed RWS has adopted a cut-corner tactic to open its casino just for the Chinese new years crowd for a few more bucks, but at the expense of Singapore’s excellent toruism brand name as one of the experts concluded; why would the authorities allow this less than satisfactory event to go on?  Especially that such a so called partial opening would disrupt the travel, tourism & hospitality trade (TTH) industries planning & operations. So the optimal toruism synergy will be lost.  At the receiving end, it is customers & tourists who will face inconvenience and be disappointed with partial product & service offering. This is an anti-climax for such an important national tourism initiative and quite a contrast as compared to how well Singapore had prepared for its first F1 night race in 2008.  Both the F1 and IR are major integral parts of Singapore tourism grand plan, but to rush through the opening of a S$6b mega project (RWS) created with long-term perspective might not be a wise move for the IR and tourism of Singapore.

(d)  It will be very interesting to observe, whether the other soon to open Marina Bay Sands IR takes this as a precedence when it comes to their turn to open. Some call it flexibility because of the financial turmoil that affected the IR operators and while the opposite view would be simply, a short-cut to quality product offering.

Cut-corner?

At the expense of tourism brand name?

"I have never seen..."

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