Number of F&B outlets on Sentosa tripled in last two years

The number of food and beverage (F&B) outlets has tripled on Sentosa in the past two years.

But it’s not just the upcoming integrated resort that’s attracting restaurants to start up on the island.

Emily Liu and Joe Ou Yang got married in Beijing in February 2007. But the couple never found time to take their wedding pictures, till Joe got posted to work in Singapore recently.

“My wife and I worked outside China and we don’t live together. This August, I came to Singapore to work for couple of months. Then in September, I asked my wife to come to Singapore to visit me and we took the photographs here,” said Ou Yang.

The couple had their pictures taken at Sentosa.

Sentosa said at least three couples have their wedding pictures taken at the island resort each day.
Some even believe that a 150-year-old Ficus tree on the island is a symbol of fertility, which is why Sentosa is the best location for couples to say ‘I do’.

A 4 metre by 5metre floating pavilion in the centre of the lake is the place for wedding solemnisations.

It can take the weight of a bridal couple, a Justice of Peace and two witnesses for a wedding solemnisation.

There will also be another “corner of love” for couples to do their wedding solemnisations, hold receptions by the lake or just across the road at nearby restaurants.

For foreigners like Liu and Ou Yang, the idea has potential spin-offs for wedding tourism.

“If everything is done in one place, it’s more convenient for me. I don’t have to bring all my wedding gowns from Hong Kong to Singapore and I don’t have to go to many places to hunt for venue to hold my wedding banquet. It’s more convenient if they can do everything in one place,” said Liu.

The “I Do” corner is expected to be ready by mid 2008.

And such developments have attracted more food & beverage outlets to start up on Sentosa – from just three in 2005 to nine outlets today.

Said Thomas Teo, Managing Director Wine Network: “Before this, a lot of (F&Bs) went into Sentosa and didn’t quite make it; they were struggling. With the new setting and the new policies, and the IR (integrated resort) coming in, it’s a whole new ball game altogether.

“Within the next three years, when the IR comes in with the mega hotels with the casinos, we believe the traffic is going to grow by many, many times. We believe we can tap on that.”

Wine Network spent nearly S$2 million to convert the old Ficus Monorail Station into a new restaurant and bar called “Suburbia”.

It took Sentosa and the company two years of talks before the restaurant was set up.

The company hopes to recoup its investment within the next two years.

Sentosa attracted nearly 6 million visitors in 2006. – CNA /ls

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 25 Dec 2007

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