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Entertainment, Food & Beverage

New cable car system will ease Sentosa congestion

It may even be an attraction in itself, say tourism experts
The Straits Times - June 14, 2012
By: Jessica Lim
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New cable car system will ease Sentosa congestion

A NEW cable car system in Sentosa will help ease congestion on the island and may even become a tourist attraction in its own right, say travel agents and tour guides.

Sentosa Development Corporation, which manages the island, has not decided if it will charge for rides on the new intra-island transport system to be built by 2015.

Rides on the monorail and buses within the island are free.

"Sentosa has become more crowded over the years and sometimes the roads are quite congested," said Ms Alicia Seah, CTC Travel’s senior vice-president for marketing and public relations.

"With more connections between attractions, people will be more open to the idea of leaving their cars at home. It may also become a tourist attraction in itself," she said, adding that cities like Sydney also have cable-car rides within major tourist attractions.

Tour guide M. Loganathan, 52, who takes one tour group to Sentosa a week, said there is often a bottleneck at certain venues on the island.

He and his group have to wait about 10 minutes to exit the coach bay after popular shows like Songs Of The Sea end in the evenings.

"Things will just get worse when more people come," he said, noting that Sentosa is already experiencing a surge in visitor numbers.

"This also opens up the possibility for us to drop tourists off at a cable-car station and then let them take a ride to the attraction," he added. "This way, the coach doesn't have to move around on the island at all."

Currently, private vehicles, coaches and taxis account for 56 per cent of inbound arrivals while the monorail, cable car from Mount Faber and boardwalk make up the rest.

Industry watchers like Ngee Ann Polytechnic senior lecturer in tourism Michael Chiam said the new system would help to ease congestion at the three areas where the stations will be located - Merlion Plaza, Imbiah Lookout and Siloso Point.

The new cable system will also help rejuvenate the island and preserve its allure as a tourist destination.

Said Mr Chiam: "Tourist attractions like Sentosa need to constantly stay attractive and renew themselves to attract repeat visitors."

Sentosa, which opened as an island resort in 1972, turns 40 this year.

To celebrate, Singaporeans born in 1972 will be given free island admission via the Sentosa Express monorail and Sentosa Boardwalk in August and September.

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