Singapore spurs neighbors into lavish tourist resort development
Sunday 05 June 2011
A little envy looks to be going a very long way for both Indonesia and Malyasia.
Spurred on by the rapid tourism resort development that has been such a feature of neighboring Singapore over the past decade - and by the incredible success that has met that development - the two countries are now planning to tap into the luxury tourism market themselves.
First up sees the development what has recently been renamed Pesona Lagoi Bintan - which means Wonders of Lagoi Bintan in Bahasa Indonesian. Situated just off Singapore, workers set to the area in March and are currently turning the forest and foreshore into a "water resort city" called Bintan Treasure Bay. The project is expected to cost more than US$400 million (227 million euro) and will feature a circular shaped resort called The Ring - a 149-room resort hotel that will sit 30 meters above a 32 hectare lagoon.
Then there is the Iskandar Malaysia project - a new metropolis situated at the southern end of the Malay peninsular and also just a short ways from Singapore.
As well as pumping an estimated US$100 billion (€70 billion) into the area in the hope of turning it into a special economic zone - much like the Shenzhen area that hugs the border between Hong Kong and China - the are three theme parks planned.
Only Legoland Malaysia has so far been announced - but it's pretty impressive nonetheless. Operators are claiming there will be 40 interactive shows, rides and other attractions - and that this park alone will attract more than one million visitors annually.
The motivation behind all the grand plans is simple economics. Singapore opened its two lavish casino-resorts in 2010 - Resorts World Sentosa ( http://www.rwsentosa.com) and Marina Bay Sands ( http://www.marinabaysands.com) and saw a record 11.6 million tourists come to town. Not only that, the two resorts generated an estimated US$5 billion (€3.5 billion) in gaming revenue - the main reason the rumors are flying about just how many of the region's new resorts will be turning to casinos to fill their coffers.
Bintan Treasure Bay: http://www.treasurebaybintan.com
Iskandar Malaysia: http://www.iskandarmalaysia.com.my
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