Saturday, October 24, 2009

News - 24 Oct 2009

Spielberg's Universal Studios Singapore`not competing' with Disney

by Mary Ann Benitez
The Standard

Hollywood producer and director Steven Spielberg lent his hand to boost the profile of upcoming Universal Studios Singapore as the city-state tries to drum up Hong Kong interest in the project.

Spielberg helped create the theme park - part of a bigger integrated Resorts World - which, its backers claim, will not compete with Hong Kong Disneyland.

Featuring 24 rides and attractions, the US$4.4 billion (HK$34.32 billion) resort, developed on Sentosa Island, will open in the first quarter of next year and it expects to attract 13 million visitors within its first 12 months.

In a five-minute video clip, Spielberg said.

"I am excited to help create Universal Studios Singapore ... a spectacular destination for the people of the region and the people of the world ... a place where our imagination becomes world reality," he said.

"Universal gives the people an opportunity to ride the movies."

Universal Studios Singapore will have attractions based on movies such as Jurassic Park, Shrek and Waterworld.

"I am particularly excited about the DreamWorks Animated theme lands of Far, Far Away and Madagascar," he said. Visitors "will be put inside, making them the superstars. These memories can last a lifetime."

Edward Koh Boon Wee, chief representative regional director for Greater China of the Singapore Tourism Board, said Hong Kong is an important market for the city-state.

More than 300,000 Hongkongers visit Singapore each year. "They like to go to Singapore for
food, shopping and buying our local products. I hope the integrated resorts will give them more entertainment options to stay another day, another night on the island," Koh said.

Universal Studios Singapore will target Asia as its key market.

"We call it the integrated resort and it is all encompassing. It is similar to the positioning of Singapore as a global leisure destination and a convention and services city of Asia," he said.

Koh does not think it will compete directly with Disneyland because they are "very different propositions."

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