China has history of innovation

(July 22): It is midsummer in Beijing and the clear, blue skies are enough to entice people to visit the city’s many landmarks and public parks. Some seek the coolness of the Xiangshan hills or the waterways and gardens around the Summer Palace, or perhaps venture into the countryside and visit the Ming Tombs, where it might be a little cooler. Others visit the lesser-known Yuanming Yuan ruins, also called the Old Summer Palace.  


Indonesia to build its longest bridge near Singapore

(July 12): Indonesia plans to start building its longest sea bridge next year to connect two islands near Singapore and boost growth and trade with the neighbouring hub.

The seven-kilometre (4.3-mile) bridge connecting Batam and Bintan will cost as much as 4 trillion rupiah ($284 million) and construction is set to take three to four years, the country’s cabinet secretariat said in a statement on Thursday.

Banyan Tree's 1Q earnings decline fourfold on lower revenue, absence of one-off gains

SINGAPORE (May 16): Banyan Tree Holdings reported a 74% decline in 1Q19 earnings to $5.2 million from $20.2 million on the back of lower revenue, as well as the absence of one-off gains from the dilution of the group’s interest in its China entities.

Revenue fell 17% to $81.2 million from $98.2 million in 1Q18, mainly attributable to lower contributions from the Hotel Investments segment in the absence of revenue from Banyan Tree Seychelles, which was sold in Nov 2018, as well as from Banyan Tree Phuket due to ongoing renovations.

Straco's 1Q earnings more than double to $8.5 mil on revenue recovery from Singapore Flyer

SINGAPORE (May 14): Straco Corporation, the developer and operator of tourism-related attractions including the Singapore Flyer, has posted earnings of $8.5 million for the 1Q ended March, more than doubling from its 1Q18 earnings of $3.5 million due to higher revenue.

Revenue for the quarter grew 30.8% on-year to $24.6 million from $18.8 million a year ago with comparably higher revenue contributions from Singapore Flyer as opposed to the corresponding quarter, where revenue was impacted from a two-month suspension of the Ferris wheel’s operations.

Singapore casinos $9 bil expansion sparks price concern

(Apr 4): Genting Singapore and Las Vegas Sands Corp’s pledges to put $9 billion into tourist attractions in Singapore to keep their exclusive casino operating licenses was met with little enthusiasm by analysts and investors.

At least six analysts downgraded Genting in the wake of the news, citing the hefty price tag for the license extension and the government’s plan to raise gambling taxes after 2022. Shares of the Singapore-based developer closed 9.4% lower in trading Thursday, for the biggest one-day drop since May 2009.

Straco Corp posts 0.4% lower 4Q earnings of $6 mil; announces special & final dividend

SINGAPORE (Feb 28): Straco Corporation saw a marginal 0.4% y-o-y dip in 4Q18 earnings to $6.04 million from $6.07 million a year ago, as lower revenue for the quarter was offset by lower expenses compared to the corresponding period.

For the FY18 ended Dec 2018, the group reported 12.4% lower earnings of $41.8 million compared to $47.7 million for FY17.

SilkAir's Singapore-Broome direct flight service to return in June 2019

SINGAPORE (Jan 22): SilkAir, the regional wing of Singapore Airlines (SIA), is introducing Phase 2 of its direct flight trial between Singapore and Broome, Western Australia, this June 2019.  

Following the successful conclusion of the Phase 1 trial in May-June 2018, the second phase involves four return flights on June 13, 17, 20 and 24 this year.

They will run at the same times each day with SilkAir departing from Singapore’s Changi Airport at 11am, and departing Broome to return to Singapore later the same day at 4.15pm.

Online travel agent Zuji loses licenses in Singapore, Hong Kong

SINGAPORE (Jan 17): Zuji, an Asian online travel booking site, is no longer operational after failing to renew licenses in Hong Kong and Singapore and an air ticketing system terminated its services.

Singapore 5th most visited global destination for second straight year: Mastercard

SINGAPORE (Sept 25): Singapore has kept its spot as the fifth most visited destination for two years in a row, according to the Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index 2018.

Boasting a 6.1% growth with 13.91 million international visitors in 2017, Singapore has more than doubled its growth forecast of 2.6%.

The top five origin market for Singapore are China (18.8%), Indonesia (15%), India (8.3%), Australia (6.1%) and Malaysia (5.2%).

Alipay and STB conclude first 'cashless trip' for Chinese visitors to Singapore

SINGAPORE (Sept 13): Alipay, the mobile payment and lifestyle platform operated by China’s Ant Financial Services Group, has concluded its first “cashless trip” made by Chinese visitors to Singapore.

The trip was held in August this year together with the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), and saw six Alipay users visit Singapore based on itineraries planned by STB for three out of its seven “passion tribes”, namely the Foodie, Collector and Explorer tribes.

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