Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Price Hike Expected at Universal Studios Singapore-Full Story

Ng Kai Ling - Straits Times Indonesia
 Visitors to Universal Studios Singapore soon may have to pay more to get their adrenaline fix.

The theme park in Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) will charge travel agents between S$1 and S$3 more for tickets which they re-sell to tourists from April 30.

And the agents say they expect the price for visitors to increase by between S$2 and S$8 as a result.

Tickets for adults currently cost S$66 on weekdays, and S$72 on weekends and peak periods such as school holidays. They allow visitors entry to all 18 shows and rides.

Agents have no say over how much they can charge customers for the tickets. This is up to RWS.

The agents said they received a new contract from RWS informing them of the new rates in January.

A copy of the contract obtained by The Straits Times states that they will have to pay S$1 more for each off-peak ticket, and S$3 more a ticket for weekends and peak periods.

As for the new selling price, the contract states only 'TBA' or 'to be advised'.

An RWS spokesman declined to reveal how the new travel agent rates will affect the ticket selling price, saying: "It is our policy not to comment on our contractual agreements with our partners."

But Alicia Seah, CTC Travel's senior vice-president for marketing and communications, said: "With roller coaster Battlestar Galactica reopened and two new rides set to open this year, they will have more to offer. I think it is reasonable for them to adjust the price."

The two new rides slated for this year are Madagascar: A Crate Adventure, which will open by June, and a Transformers ride, which will be up and running by the end of the year.

She added that other theme parks have raised prices on the back of new rides. For example, prices at Hong Kong Disneyland increased by about HK$55to HK$350 in 2008 when more attractions opened.

She said if Universal Studios does not raise ticket prices, it may stop issuing vouchers to visitors instead.

The theme park started issuing a S$15 food and drink voucher with each ticket when its main attraction, Battlestar Galactica, was temporarily closed after a seat came off during routine testing last year.

Travel agents say Battlestar's suspension did not affect their ticket sales and it is unlikely any price increase will either.

Anthony Lim, chief executive of Rest & Relax, said: "Tourists will still visit Universal Studios Singapore no matter what because they think it is worth it. After all, they are in Singapore already."

Customer Julian Poh, a self-confessed roller-coaster junkie, put off visiting the park when Battlestar was down.

"I think $66 is already expensive...But I will still go because I like roller coasters," said the 32-year-old, an operations manager at a vet's surgery.



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