SINGAPORE — Banyan Tree Holdings’ future resort at the Mandai mega-nature attraction will appeal to both local and foreign visitors, and could get tourists to spend an extra day or two in Singapore, said tourism experts.
The 4.6 hectare resort, which will be sited near the zoo and could open in 2023, will have a mix of room types, such as standard and family rooms as well as treehouses, said Mandai Park Holdings and the luxury resort operator on Wednesday (Oct 11).
It will offer a novel staycation option for locals and appeal to young families as well as regular visitors to the zoo, bird park and other attractions under Mandai Park Holdings, said tourism experts.
Tourists from Australia, Europe and the United States who are attracted to tropical destinations such as Singapore could also sign up as guests, said National University of Singapore marketing Professor Jochen Wirtz.
The resort would attract visitors drawn to eco-friendly facilities, said Dr Michael Chiam, senior lecturer in tourism at Ngee Ann Polytechnic.
“I think generally, these are the groups of people who are quite tired of the run-of-the mill hotels, (such as) the typical concrete-jungle type of hotels,” he said.
Given the Banyan Tree Holdings brand is “quite well-known” in China, the resort can expect travellers from the country, said Dynasty Travel public relations and communications director Alicia Seah. Singapore is already a top Asia-Pacific destination for Chinese tourists, and some analysts believe the future resort could provide a reason for repeat or longer visits to the Republic.
“Singapore tries very hard to create things (where) the average length of stay of the tourists increase… (The resort) could easily add two days (to) their holiday,” said Prof Wirtz.
The resort, which will have up to 400 rooms, will be bigger than Banyan Tree’s usual resorts that typically have a hundred or fewer rooms, he said.
But would it be big enough to meet potential demand? Prof Wirtz said it would depend on prices charged, which can be adjusted to manage demand.
The rooms could be priced similarly to five-star hotels or those at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), which offer a mix of room types, said observers. Rooms can cost about S$290 to S$1600 per weekend night at RWS’ hotels, which cater to groups ranging from families and couples on a romantic getaway, to visitors who want to feel closer to nature.
In addition, the appointment of Banyan Tree Holdings to operate the resort could create jobs for Singaporeans, said Ms Shirley Tee, course manager for Nanyang Polytechnic’s Diploma in Hospitality and Tourism Management.
Church worker Steven Loh, 45, whose family used to visit the zoo about six times a year, said he would consider taking his family to the resort if it is not too expensive.
The father of two girls aged 5 and 10 is planning to stay at a similar resort in Taiwan during an upcoming vacation.