Sentosa waives entry fees to celebrate SG50

No charge for walking in, free entry for cars and cabs on weekday evenings

Entry to Sentosa will be free for anyone walking, driving or taking a taxi to the island as part of its SG50 celebrations.

As of March 1, the $1 entry fee for using the boardwalk has been waived and from Monday, visitors who drive or take a taxi will enjoy free entry after 5pm on weekdays, excluding public holidays.

The usual admission charge for cars and taxis on weekday evenings is $2.

The promotion will last until Dec 31.

It is one of several being rolled out by the Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) to mark Singapore's jubilee year.

The 1,696m intra-island cableway will open in May to transport visitors around the island, with stops at Siloso Point, Imbiah Lookout and Merlion Plaza.

Last August, an error by a contractor working on the new cableway system caused an empty cable car to dislodge and crash into a construction site.

Mr Mike Barclay, SDC's chief executive, assured visitors that operators will carry out a test run of the cableway before it is opened to the public each day.

There will also be two back-up motors, among other measures, to keep the line running in the case of power disruptions or motor failures.

He added that ticket prices for the new line will be "significantly lower" than that of the existing cableway linking Mount Faber to Sentosa, which costs $29 for adults and $18 for children aged between three and 12.

Meanwhile, theme park KidZania Singapore is slated to open in the third quarter of the year.

Celebrations kicked off last night with a mass birthday bash for Singaporeans turning 50 this year, hosted by local actor and comic Gurmit Singh. They were nominated by family members and friends over a four-week campaign.

Polytechnic lecturer Raymond Ong, among those reaching their half-century, recalled visiting an ice-skating rink on the island in the 1980s.

"I remember the youth hostels and chalets, and staying overnight on the beach in a tent," he said. "Now, my kids are asking for staycations in hotels instead."

Mr Barclay noted that many Singaporeans hold "special memories of time spent on Sentosa as children and adults, and with family and friends".

He added: "In this SG50 year, we encourage everyone to reconnect with Sentosa."

In the months leading up to the National Day weekend in August, Singaporeans can look forward to a line-up of events such as an SG50 sand sculpture display, beach carnival and complimentary entry to selected attractions.

More details will be released on the Sentosa website.

mellinjm@sph.com.sg