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Thread: More visitors but HK worries about S'pore

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    Default More visitors but HK worries about S'pore

    http://www.straitstimes.com/Prime%2B...ry_445908.html

    October 24, 2009 Saturday

    More visitors but HK worries about S'pore

    Imminent opening of S'pore theme parks rattles some

    By Shu-Ching Jean Chen, For The Straits Times


    HONG KONG: Warned a recent headline in the mass-circulation newspaper The Oriental Daily: 'Singapore's tourism theme parks to make a killing off Hong Kong tourists'.

    The Sing Pao newspaper splashed a whole page with bold Chinese characters that told a similar story. 'Singapore's grab for tourists, a brazen challenge to Hong Kong', the wording went.

    Perhaps The Sun said it best. It described the scheduled opening of Universal Studios Singapore next year as 'the shaving of Hong Kong's eyebrows' - a local metaphor for public mortification.

    No matter how the papers put it, one thing is certain. Hong Kong's tourism industry is worried.

    The concerns were stoked by a marketing campaign currently going on here conducted by Resorts World at Sentosa and Universal Studios Singapore. There is added unease because not many were aware until recently about the imminent opening of Singapore's new theme parks.

    Mr Paul Tse, a legislator who represents the tourism industry, said: 'We have been worried about Hong Kong's tourism all the time, but all these (developments) alarm us even further.

    'If we don't work harder, a crisis will come,' he said. 'The message is clear: Singapore is pulling ahead and Hong Kong is being left behind.'

    Mr Tse and other observers, lament that Hong Kong has no new tourist attractions in the works except the scheduled expansions of Disneyland and Ocean Park. It has been three years since the opening of its latest major attraction, Ngong Ping 360 - a 5.7km, 25-minute cable car ride over its largest island, Lantau, which has not been a great success.

    A proposal announced last week by the city's leader Donald Tsang to develop a new cruise terminal near its abandoned old airport in Kowloon has been called ill-conceived for not taking into consideration the absence of tourist destinations nearby.

    Even if it is built, it would open in 2012, a year after the new international cruise terminal at Marina South would have started operation.

    So far, these worries seem misplaced. Hong Kong's tourism has held up well, due to mainland Chinese tourists who make up more than 60 per cent of its market.

    According to China's Tourism Bureau, 7.25 million mainlanders visited Hong Kong in the first five months this year, 7.4 per cent higher than the same period last year.

    As one of its top four pillar industries, tourism accounts for more than 3 per cent of Hong Kong's gross domestic product, even without including receipts from related industries such as retail and restaurant.

    The H1N1 flu scare that prompted the government to quarantine an entire hotel for several days in May scared off potential visitors, but business has been recovering.

    Australian-born John Ap, associate professor at the School of Hotel and Tourism Management at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, said he sees competition coming not just from Singapore, but also Taiwan and possibly China itself when the mainland starts to catch up. 'Hong Kong's tourism industry has been expanding,' he said. 'But you have to ask: What's going to happen in the next 10 to 15 years?'

    Last week, he even took his class of 25 students to Singapore for a close-up look at what is happening there. They gave Sentosa 7.1 out of an overall satisfaction rating of 10.

    As for Hong Kong, Mr Tse has suggested a plan that could benefit both it and Singapore. Calling his proposal a new tale of two cities, he said, with both governments taking the lead, the two could pool resources and promote themselves as joint destinations in a bargain packaged tour.

    'We compete, but we can also work together to attract tourists,' stressed Mr Tse.

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    China to loan 2 pandas to Singapore for 10-year period
    Asha Popatlal
    Channel NewsAsia
    Wednesday, 11 November 2009, 2052 hrs


    A panda cub is seen playing at the Giant Panda Breeding Centre in Chengdu.

    China will also be loaning 2 baby pandas to Singapore for a 10-year period, as part of a collaboration between the China Wildlife Conservation Association and Wildlife Reserves Singapore to mark the 20th anniversary of Sino-Singapore relations.

    According to Wildlife Reserves, Singapore will be the 7th country to get these animals on loan - after the US, Japan, Austria, Australia, Spain and Thailand.

    There are only 1,600 pandas in the world, of which 268 are in captivity, with only 30 of these outside China.

    But Singaporeans won't get to see these bears soon.

    They will arrive in the second half of 2011, but they will have to be quarantined for a month, and there will be a further 5 months of acclimatisation.

    The baby pandas will be housed in the zoo's new attraction, the River Safari, and visitors will probably get their first glimpse of them in the first quarter of 2012.

    The pandas will be located in a special area to be constructed - a 1,600 sq-metre climate-controlled enclosure that is fully air-conditioned with temperature set between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius and humidity controlled at 50-60 per cent all year round.

    Ambient conditions will be adjusted to simulate the 4 seasons similar to their natural habitat.

    Since the pandas' diet consists mainly of bamboo - they consume some 20 kg a day - the zoo will be planting 8,000 sqm of bamboo plantation to cater for this.

    Property firm Capitaland will be adopting the pandas with what it called a significant donation over the 10-year period.

    This is not the first time Singaporeans will see pandas here. The city-state had a pair on loan for 100 days in 1991.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reporter
    The pandas will be located in a special area to be constructed - a 1,600 sq-metre climate-controlled enclosure that is fully air-conditioned with temperature set between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius and humidity controlled at 50-60 per cent all year round.
    1,600 sq-metre is 17,222 sqft!

    That's a GCB-sized plot!

    Looks like the pandas, just by being pandas, have achieved what most Singaporeans are not able to afford.


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    Quote Originally Posted by jlrx
    1,600 sq-metre is 17,222 sqft!

    That's a GCB-sized plot!

    Looks like the pandas, just by being pandas, have achieved what most Singaporeans are not able to afford.



    its a sign


    that the chinese from mainland will be here ... to conquer our land .. big land

    its

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    Quote Originally Posted by jlrx
    1,600 sq-metre is 17,222 sqft!

    That's a GCB-sized plot!

    Looks like the pandas, just by being pandas, have achieved what most Singaporeans are not able to afford.



    its a sign


    that the chinese from mainland will be here ... to conquer our land .. big land

    its poo room wil be bigger than most of our MM studios ... MM owners ..shame on you .. you are compared worst off than the panda

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    Quote Originally Posted by proud owner
    its a sign


    that the chinese from mainland will be here ... to conquer our land .. big land

    its poo room wil be bigger than most of our MM studios ... MM owners ..shame on you .. you are compared worst off than the panda
    Kungfu Panda buys $20m Binjai Rise bungalow



    ACTION star Kungfu Panda seems to be sinking deeper roots in Singapore. He and his wife, Mrs. Kungfu Panda, bought a good class bungalow (GCB) on Binjai Rise for $19.8 million last month. The price works out to $871 per square foot based on the freehold land area of 22,723 square feet.

    Mr. Kungfu Panda is understood to have become a Singapore citizen.

    He decided to migrate to Singapore after a narrow escape from the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake.

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    Pandas for Singapore
    Lim WeiChean
    The Straits Times
    Friday, 13 November 2009, 3.04 pm


    The two-year-old male giant panda is currently in China's panda reserve in Wolong in Sichuan province. -- Photo: China Wildlife Conservation Association


    The one-year-old female giant panda is currently in China's panda reserve in Wolong in Sichuan province. -- Photo: China Wildlife Conservation Association

    Here is the first glimpse of the pair of fuzzy darlings that are headed our way in the second half of 2011.

    The two-year-old male and one-year-old female giant pandas are currently in China's panda reserve in Wolong in Sichuan province. They each have a twin sibling, which Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) hopes will enhance their chance of reproducing when they get here.

    The pandas will make their public debut in 2012 when WRS' new $140 million river themed animal attraction, the River Safari, opens. WRS is building a special enclosure for them, which will be full climate controlled with air-conditioning set at 18 to 22 ēC and humidity level set at 50 to 60% all year round.

    The cute envoys for Singapore were announced by Chinese President Hu Jintao at an Istana state banquet on Wednesday night to mark 20 years of China-Singapore relations. They will be here as part of a 10-year reseach and conservation collaboration between WRS and China Wildlife Conservation Association.

    WRS will also start a breeding programme of the endangered species. There are some 1,600 pandas left in the wild and another 200 up in captivity left in the world.

    Singapore will be the seventh country to receive a pair of pandas from China, after Austria, Australia, Japan, Spain, Thailand and the United States. Taiwan also received a pair last year as a sign of warming relations between the two straits.

    The bears will be named when they arrive in Singapore.

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    Wooo..so exciting, will have a naming panda competition..

    Hopefully...this time..they will not be spending a bomb to find a name but settled for something that dont even need to have competition ..(eg, Budget Terminal is named Budget Terminal, Marina Bay is named Marina Bay)...

    Maybe Panda will be named Panda Male and Panda Female..

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    大熊猫“移民”我国10年 将刺激本地旅游业
    我报
    星期五, 13-11-2009



    中国大熊猫将到我国长住10年,受访旅游业者认为,本地势必会再度掀起“熊猫风”,这股熊猫旅游效益也会让新加坡的旅游产品更多元化

    全国旅行社协会(Natas)总裁邱武侯认为,中国向新加坡借出一对珍贵大熊猫,将对本地旅游业起着刺激作用。

    他说:“对入境游客或许效应不会很明显,但肯定会引起本地人的浓厚兴趣,吸引更多本地游人,到拟议新建的新景点游河探险乐园River Safari)游玩。”

    Natas入境旅游主席陈绍棠也说,熊猫对游客深具吸引力,从上一次一对大熊猫于1990年到新加坡动物园做客时所引起的轰动可见一斑。

    他说:“明后两年我们的环球影城Universal Studio)和国际游轮中心等世界级设施将启用,到了2012年中国大熊猫登场,将为本地景点增添吸引力。”

    能吸引更多中国游客到访

    大通旅游(市场与公关)高级副总经理佘柳华也认为,大熊猫将扮演新中亲善大使吸引更多中国游客到访我国。她相信,会有更多中国游客想来新加坡看看大熊猫如何在热带国家生活。

    2只大熊猫将入住游河探险乐园这个亚洲首个以河流环境为卖点的主题乐园,并成为园内中国稀有动物展示区的主角。

    许多公众得知大熊猫将会长住我国的消息后,都对这2只毛茸茸的“新移民”充满好奇和期待。

    大熊猫的名字也成了人们茶余饭后的话题。

    有公众建议,为大熊猫取个有好彩头的名字,如“平平”和“安安”、“兴兴”和“旺旺”等。

    也有人认为大熊猫的名字应该富有新加坡特色,例如“Kia Kia”和“Su Su”(Kiasu,即怕输之意),甚至有人建议为大熊猫取个马来名字。

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