Free admission to Sentosa during March school holidays
Move comes as resort island sees a 20-50% drop in visitors since the outbreak last month
Visitors will be allowed to enter Sentosa for free during the March school holidays in a move to support its businesses during the coronavirus outbreak.
The resort island has seen a 20 per cent to 50 per cent drop in visitors since the outbreak last month, the Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) said yesterday in response to The New Paper's queries.
A spokesman for SDC, which is part of the Tourism Recovery Action Taskforce, said the free admission from March 14 to 22 will give its guests "a much-needed getaway".
"After all, a healthy dose of sunshine and fresh air could be a boost to one's health," he added.
The spokesman assured visitors that with enhanced precautionary measures in place, its diverse leisure offerings remain open.
With the Singapore Tourism Board expecting visitor arrivals to fall by 25 per cent to 30 per cent, businesses that rely on tourists are looking at ways to attract more locals to make up for the shortfall.
Royal Plaza on Scotts, for instance, is running a staycation promotion for Singapore residents, which includes free upgrades to premier rooms, all-day refreshments and free breakfast for two.
Its restaurant Carousel is bringing back its popular lobster and crab promotion on Feb 23 after a six-month break.
The hotel's general manager, Mr Patrick Fiat, said: "It is inevitable the tourism industry is having a lull period with the coronavirus outbreak. We are hoping revenue loss will not exceed 30 per cent for the year."
Mr Kieran Twomey, group chief operating officer of Millennium Hotels and Resorts, which operates Copthorne King's Hotel and M Hotel, among others, told TNP that it is business as usual despite the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (Dorscon) alert raised from yellow to orange last Friday.
He said: "We have pushed a regional Valentine's Day package that offers a 30 per cent discount off suite rooms. Several initiatives such as staycation packages are also in progress."
Ms Margaret Heng, executive director of the Singapore Hotel Association, which is also part of the task force, said it would be collaborating with partners and government agencies to aid Singapore's recovery.
She said: "Business is affected, but we can use this downtime to upskill our employees to prepare them for the upturn."
This includes working directly with hotels to train and upgrade workers to prepare the industry for better hospitality and service standards, she added.
"The hotel industry is impacted... (but) we must not lose sight of the recovery process." - ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CHEOW SUE-ANN