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SINGAPORE - The opening of Resorts World Sentosa's (RWS) casino on the first day of the Chinese New Year might have stolen the thunder from the rest of the tourist attractions on Sentosa, but it certainly did not hurt their business.

The spillover from the hordes of visitors flocking to RWS over the long weekend for a peek at the Republic's first casino boosted visitorship at the other tourist spots on the island by as much as 25 per cent on average - compared to the same period last year, operators told MediaCorp.

Tourists at the other attractions were glad that despite the increased traffic, there were none of the bottlenecks like those seen at RWS' casino. Undergraduate Michelle Pan, a 22-year-old Malaysian who visited the casino on Tuesday and was at the Sky Tower yesterday, said: "There are still quite a lot of people but the queues move faster."

When MediaCorp visited Sentosa yesterday, the monorail, shuttle buses and trams were mostly packed, although the snaking queues at the stations and bus-stops moved quickly.

However, at hotspots such as The Merlion, it was impossible to take a photograph without capturing others in the shot.

Popular attractions such as Sentosa Luge and the Underwater World also had 15-minute queues, made up mostly of tourists here to take in Singapore's first integrated resort (IR).

China national Guo Xing who was with his family, visited the beach and Underwater World after touring RWS yesterday. The 42-year-old businessman said: "Since we had already entered the island, we decided to see some of the other attractions as well."

General manager of Sentosa Luge, Mr Lyndon Thomas, said there was "no doubt" the island's star attraction would benefit all businesses on Sentosa. Café del Mar's operations manager, Mr Adrian Lee, said business could improve by another 15 per cent when the IR is fully open.

"Tourists who stay in the island's hotels will be here for several days and we're hopeful that a good number of them will want to explore the rest of the attractions, beyond the shopping, theme park and casino at the IR," he said. Teo Xuanwei

From TODAY, Thursday, 18-Feb-2010


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