Singapore resort operator plans $297m expansion after Covid doldrums

The Hard Rock Hotel Singapore, pictured in 2011, is one of three hotels slated for renovation (QFSE Media/CC BY-SA 3.0 NZ)
Casino and resort company Genting Singapore will spend $297m (S$400m) this year renovating hotels and expanding attractions in the city state in hopes of a tourism revival after what it called the severe impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

To keep pace with observed trends, one hotel will cater for the “bleisure” market, combining business and leisure.

Work on its Resorts World Sentosa cluster of facilities will include renovating three hotels, tripling the size of of the SEA Aquarium, and adding a new themed zone, called Minion Land, to Universal Studios Singapore.

“Whilst the Covid-19 pandemic has severely impacted the business of the Group, there are signs that allow us a sense of optimism for the travel and tourism industry,” the company said in a statement to the Singapore stock exchange on 17 February.

With a total room count of more than 1,200, the three hotels to be refurbished are Hard Rock Hotel Singapore, Hotel Michael and Festive Hotel, with work starting in the second quarter of this year.

The Festive Hotel will be turned into a “bleisure” (business-leisure) and “workation” (work-vacation) hotel with mobile working spaces.

Genting said it expects future tourism to be mostly small groups of “free independent travellers”, leisure and business people.

The company will also upgrade its Resorts World Convention Centre.

Separately, Genting has committed S$10m to a collaboration with the National University of Singapore to research sustainable tourism.

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