Singapore's Resorts World set to offer families 'everything'

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Singapore's US4.4 billion (3 billion euro) Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) brought their road show to town Thursday saying they had never for a moment thought the destination might compete for tourists with Hong Kong's Disneyland or Ocean Park -- or even with the massive resorts opening nearby at the gambling center of Macau.

"We think we are offering something that Asia has never seen before, so we just don't think in terms of competition,'' Lim Soon Hua, RWS's assistant director of communications, told Relaxnews.

RWS is set to open in the first quarter of 2010 and the 49-hectare site features among its attractions Universal Studios Singapore which boasts 24 rides and attractions - -18 of which management are claiming are either original or adapted for the island state. It is Universal Studios' first Asian theme park.

There will also be on completion 1,800 rooms spread over four hotels, including the 120-room high-end Maxims Tower, a 364-room Hard Rock Hotel and a family-oriented 398-room Festive Hotel. Other features include a casino, a Marine Life Park, the Equarius Water Park, and more than 30 restaurants.

"We very much see ourselves as Southeast Asia's premiere family destination,'' said Lim. "We are giving people more choices and basically everything they could ever want from a holiday at the one destination.''

There are a few around beginning to claim exactly the same thing. Hong Kong's Disneyland -- which opened in 2005 -- now ranks 18th in the world in terms of theme park attendance figures, while the city's 32-year-old Ocean Park is currently building a family-themed hotel and has made much of the fact that it is ranked 15th on the same list.

Those two destinations pulled in 4.5 and 5 million visitors respectively in 2008 and are currently upgrading all facilities not just with an eye on the opening of RWS but on the planned opening of the Shanghai version of Disneyland, scheduled for 2014.

Over in Macau, the US$2.1 billion (1.4 billion euro) City of Dreams complex also opened in June this year claiming that its focus would be on entertainment more than simply gaming.

RWS are estimating visitor numbers will reach close to 14 million in their first year of operations, and Lim was confident they have the facilities in store that will ensure those sorts of figures are met.

"When people approach Sentosa [island] and see things like the Far Far Away Castle [taken from the "Shrek'' film franchise] and rides such as the twin Human vs Cylcon Battlestar Galactica coasters, we think it will take their breath away,'' he said. "I go there every day and seeing these things brings me a thrill every day.''