Speech by Minister Grace Fu at the Singapore Cable Car's 50th Anniversary Cocktail Reception 2024

Speech by Minister Grace Fu at the Singapore Cable Car's 50th Anniversary Cocktail Reception 2024

Mr Bob Tan, Chairman, Sentosa Development Corporation

Mr Michael Syn, Chairman, Mount Faber Leisure Group

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

Good evening

1. I am pleased to join you this evening for the celebration of the Singapore Cable Car’s Golden Jubilee.

Singapore Cable Car and SkyOrb Cabins

2. As one of the nation’s earliest attractions, the iconic Singapore Cable Car has stood strong as a prominent tourism icon since 1974.

a. For 50 years, the Singapore Cable Car has continued to serve as a scenic transportation experience for visitors. Just a few years after its launch, Singapore Cable Car achieved international exposure when it was featured in the popular American television show Hawaii Five-O in 1979 (Jack Lord as Steve McGarrett).

b. The cable cars have evolved over the years to achieve a series of “world’s firsts”. In 1998, customised tables were developed for the world’s first sky dining in the cable car. The world’s first glass-bottomed cabins in the 3rd generation of cable cars were introduced a year later in 1999.

3. The next generation of cable car, or SkyOrb Cabins, will give the Singapore Cable Car another world’s first, as it features a never-before-seen chrome spherical cabin. These futuristic-looking cabins will change the skyline on Mount Faber and the Harbourfront. The SkyOrb Cabins feature a glass bottom and lighted rings that can change colours for different occasions to for an enhanced experience. Later this evening, I am delighted to launch the SkyOrb Cabin as the newest addition to the ropeways between Mount Faber and Sentosa.

Singapore’s Tourism Landscape

4. Just as the Singapore Cable Car has continued to grow from strength to strength, much has changed over the past 50 years in our tourism landscape.

a. Tourism plays a crucial role in our economy. The sector contributes 4 percent to our GDP and employs around 72,000 people.

b. In 2023, Singapore’s international visitor arrivals reached 13.6 million, meeting our target of 12 to 14 million visitor arrivals. This was buoyed by the return of large-scale events such as the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix and Liv Golf, the opening of new hotels like Mondrian Singapore Duxton and Pan Pacific Orchard and attractions like Bird Paradise.

5. In 2024, tourism is expected to recover to pre-COVID levels, and we expect to welcome up to 16 million visitors to our shores.

6. Despite these encouraging signs, we will continue to face headwinds as we look to become a leading tourist destination.

a. Economic uncertainty continues to put a dampener on travel spending, with less discretionary income spending on the part of consumers.

b. Regional developments will require us to up our game to remain relevant in the region.

7. It is therefore important that we continuously refresh and develop world-class tourism products to remain competitive in the face of strong competition and economic uncertainty.

a. For example, we have brought to Singapore the Harry Potter Forbidden Forest Experience which opened in early February this year. This Experience makes use of Sentosa’s coastal assets to recreate magical scenes seen in the movies, transforming the daytime hiking Coastal Trail into a family-friendly immersive experience at night.

b. Another experiential attraction is the Sentosa Sensoryscape which had its soft launch yesterday. This new day-to-night attraction not only creates a much-needed thoroughfare to connect Resorts World Sentosa and Sentosa’s beaches, but also transforms into a multi-sensorial attraction offering a unique and inspiring experience for visitors.

c. We also look forward to the expansion of Resorts World Sentosa, where new attractions such as Minion Land, Singapore Oceanarium and Super Nintendo World would be progressively rolled out over the next few years. Together with the upcoming developments along the Greater Southern Waterfront which will comprise housing, recreational, and entertainment options, we can look forward to a rejuvenated sector where both Singaporeans and international visitors can live and play.

8. As we celebrate and take pride in 50 years of the Singapore Cable Car, I hope that the it will continue to offer a bird's-eye view of the upcoming transformation of the developments in Sentosa and Brani, over the next 50 years and beyond.


9. In closing, I congratulate Singapore Cable Car on its 50th Golden anniversary. A remarkable milestone indeed. I wish everybody a good evening.

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