Monday, May 10, 2010

Sentosa sees surge of 30% in visitors with record numbers on some days

By Hetty Musfirah

SINGAPORE: Sentosa is seeing a surge in visitors. From February to April this year, it had an increase of over 30 per cent in visitors compared with the same period last year.

It also had record numbers on certain days.

Sentosa is riding on new attractions such as Universal Studios Singapore and Resorts World Sentosa.

Longtime attractions and house staples managed by Sentosa Leisure Group like the Merlion and the Images of Singapore are enjoying renewed interest, drawing 26 per cent more visitors between February and April.

One visitor said: "It is a very nice place to visit because it is almost complete all the entertainment"

Sentosa said the good performance can also be attributed to the turnaround in the economy and it said that within the next five years, it's projecting guest arrivals to more than double than the current six million visitors it's seeing in the past two years.

A crowd size of up to 20,000 was previously seen on only a weekend but it's now typical on a weekday.

Rajavarman M, assistant manager, Admission Operations, Operations and Retail Division, said: "During a weekday, we see a weekend crowd before RWS has opened and on a weekend we are seeing a slightly more peak crowd that we used to see during certain public holidays. And during our current public holidays, we see an almost super peak crowd, like during Chinese New Year - we almost hit a 100,000 crowd which we have never seen before".

Manpower and resources have been stepped up by up to 50 per cent to manage the crowds.

Mr Rajavarman added: “We have got queue management plans and increased our trains. We see and study the traffic patterns and we increase the trains and buses accordingly like on a weekday.

“We have seven buses running last time but now we have got 14 buses. On a weekend, we increase to 21 buses. For the deployment for manpower and all that, we increase by 50 per cent.”

CCTV cameras are used to track crowd sizes at train stations Waterfront, Imbiah, Beach and Sentosa.

Mr Rajavarman said: “We have a person in place during peak times who are studying the entire crowd flow using a CCTV.

"The person who's looking at the CCTV will determine where we need to load half train and full train. We have to manage between the four stations.

“On peak days trains run at an average interval of 3 minutes bringing 4,000 guests per hour per direction.”

The promise is that visitors won't have to wait for more than 15 minutes for the trains.

Tram services may come to halt to free up the roads around the island.

There'll also be signs on the expected waiting times.

An LCD screen at Beach Station carpark shows the traffic situation at Sentosa Gateway and the Telok Blangah junction during peak periods to help motorists and visitors avoid the jams.

Sentosa also deploys Auxiliary Police Officers (APOs) to manage traffic build-up at various points at the areas.

Sentosa is also working with partners like St James Power Station to improve traffic conditions like staggering the timings of key events.

The Sentosa Boardwalk is expected completed end of this year or early next year.

Guests will be able to access Sentosa and Resorts World Sentosa using the covered travellators. The upcpming newly-refurbished Cable Car will also serve to be another transport mode to get into the island.



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