Monday, October 6, 2008

Riding The Tourism Boom

Whatever field you come from, as long as you enjoy meeting new people and promoting what your country has to offer, this article will pique your interest in the tourism industry.

Riding the Tourism Boom

Kenneth Ng works at Universal Studios Singapore, which is one of the upcoming tourist attractions at Resorts World at Sentosa

Kenneth, what do you do at Resorts World at Sentosa?

I am part of the Universal Studios Singapore projects team that plans and coordinates everything from design, construction and the completion of Southeast Asia's first and only Universal Studios theme park.

I am also involved in the master-planning of our six zones in the theme park, which includes –
¡ Jurassic Park
¡ Super Hero City
¡ New York
¡ Hollywood

Universal Studios Singapore will be one of our two anchor attractions here at Resorts World at Sentosa. The other project is our Marine Life Park, which is the largest oceanarium in the world.

Your job sounds really exciting. Can you tell me more about it?

We are in the business of fun, and it's a great feeling to be creating joy for our customers when we open in 2010.

I work with our designers in the Universal Studios office in Los Angeles to create one of the best theme parks in the world. We pick the most exciting rides to be featured here – which is a feat, because all their rides are so exciting, and we have finite space.

Being spoilt for choice, we have to carefully scrutinize the designs of our attractions, and then decide what would be most attractive to theme park goers in this region. We then tweak it a little to make it either more relevant to our audiences here, or give it a fresh new twist so that even the most jaded theme park patron will find Universal Studios Singapore refreshing.

We are going to create 20 new attractions and two new zones which will be the first of its kind in the world. The privilege of being involved in this process is indeed very exciting. Of course, another key highlight would be the fact that I’ll be one of the first to ride on our dueling roller coasters in two year’s time, signifying the fruition of all our efforts!

Resorts World at Sentosa looks set to revolutionize the tourism sector with these fantastic attractions. How influential will they be in terms of promoting Singapore as a tourist destination?

The region has never seen such an integrated project that will change the tourism landscape of Southeast Asia forever.

Resorts World at Sentosa is slated to be one of the world’s most exciting family destinations, with a myriad of fun-filled offerings for the entire family.

With twin mega attractions, six hotels, a galore of entertainment and retail options, our S$6 billion mega- resort will be something Singaporeans will be very proud of.
Ultimately, we are looking to change the face of family holidays.

Do you find your job challenging at times?

This is probably the fastest rate that a mega theme park has been built, and with that, decisions have to be made very quickly.

But when it comes to the design of theme park rides, it's never easy as they are rather subjective. For example, some would prefer the rides to be steeper, or scarier. Some prefer more scenic rides. It's all about striking a balance, and ensuring that the entire experience has something for everyone.

Having said that, we are well on track to create one of the best tourist attractions in the region. So my long hours are well worth it at the end of the day.

What do you think are the prospects for the tourism/hospitality industry?

I believe that Resorts World at Sentosa will change the tourism and hospitality blueprint of Singapore and the region. With 12,000 direct job opportunities and 35,000 indirect hires, we are almost instantly creating some 47,000 jobs.

Singapore can also expect a surge in tourist arrivals, with the daily number set to jump by some 55 per cent when the two Integrated Resorts (IR) open in 2010, as highlighted by Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr Lim Hng Kiang, during our ground breaking ceremony in April 2007.

Besides a complete overhaul of the tourism and hospitality industries in Singapore, many sectors within the economy – from banking and finance, to transportation, infrastructure, engineering, education and even real estate, will enjoy the extra buzz with the spillover effects from both IRs. Did you like this story? We'd like to hear from you. Write to us at