Saturday, December 09, 2006

What a genting bore

The most anticipated secret in the second half of 2006 is out - Genting International has won the race to build the Sentosa Integrated Resort (IR). There is no surprise in this for after all, it is a safe choice. In retrospect, the writing was already being sketched on the wall with the quick succession of pronoucements and announcements in the press regarding Singapore-Malaysia affairs. First, DPM Najib Tun Razak virtually laid out the red carpet for Singapore when it encouraged greater economic cooperation between the two countries. This after a lot of Singapore bashing all of this year. Then there was the 'inadvertent' announcement that Singapore's SMRT could be linking up with Johore to build a commuter rail system linking Woodlands to Johore. Phew! aren't we glad that the Causeway is still intact.

Coming back to the choice of Genting and its plans for the IR. In my opinion, it is more of the same thing actually. Which makes the pending development rather a bore.

Singapore has now chosen NOT to be different from others. It has thrown its hat into the mega amusement park model to attract tourists, with Universal Studios helming this part of the IR. It is boring because there is already a Universal Studio theme park in Australia (Queensland), besides those in the US, and Hong Kong has its Disneyland. Isn't this space getting a bit crowded? Travellers will be spoilt for choice and Singapore's Sentosa IR will, at the end of the day, just be another so-so destination. And to think that there was so much hype over the whole thing. This must be an anti-climax of sorts.

I would have been excited if the Kerzner bid won. It is so 'ugly' that it will become iconic, thereby injecting a lot more interest and excitement in the long run. But safe decisions are always, well, safer.

That's Singapore for you.

Image source:


Lam Chun See said...

But in the case of Esplanade, they deliberately chose something 'ugly'.

Epilogos said...

But the Esplanade remains a conversation piece. You must admit that it is not boring, whether you like it or hate it.

Would you rather say to a tourist, "Come see our (version of) Universal Studios (which you may have already seen in Orlando/Hollywood/Japan/Australia). Gee, we have a copy right here in exciting Singapore!" or "See our awful/unique Esplanade ('the durian').

Cool Insider said...

Interesting post about Sentosa and the Integrated Resorts. Being in this business for almost 6 years, I must say that it isn't enough just to bring in world-class names to keep a leisure attraction alive. Partnerships and processes are equally key. Have a look at my post on this.

By the way, do also post on as we value reminiscences of the past like yours.

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