Timely for Singapore to expand integrated resorts: Chan

Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said Singapore should not wait until its attractions are "so dated and (we) try to play catch-up".
Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said Singapore should not wait until its attractions are "so dated and (we) try to play catch-up". ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

It is timely for Singapore to expand the two integrated resorts (IRs) as the regional competition for tourist dollars is heating up, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said yesterday.

Countries such as Japan and South Korea are also ramping up offerings by opening IRs.

Mr Chan said Singapore should not wait until its attractions are "so dated and (we) try to play catch-up".

His comments come after Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa on Wednesday committed to investing a total of $9 billion to expand their offerings. Casinos run by the two operators here will also have their exclusivity period extended until the end of 2030.

Expanding the two IRs is part of Singapore's economic strategy to constantly refresh job and tourism offerings. This must be done to prevent wage stagnation, said Mr Chan, who also shared insights on the talks with both operators, which took about two years.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 06, 2019, with the headline 'Timely for Singapore to expand IRs: Chan'. Print Edition | Subscribe