New resort to add 2,000 rooms to the island in 3 years
By BENJAMIN AW
LAGOI BAY, Bintan's newest resort destination, is expected to attract more tourists to the island when it opens its doors at year-end. When the 1,300-hectare resort is completed, it is expected to add 2,000 rooms to the island over the next three years, which Bintan Resorts (BR) hopes will help it achieve its target of one million visitor arrivals by 2015.
"We have seen a steady increase in tourist arrivals," said Chia Tek Yew, executive director of strategy and marketing at BR. "However, we cannot get more visitors unless we come up with more rooms. Our constraint today is supply-driven rather than demand-driven."
"Lagoi Bay will thus be the tenable solution by providing the requisite room keys," said Mr Chia.
Other than accommodation facilities and residential developments, the resort will have amenities, such as a beach village mall, an ultra-light aircraft ride centre and the island's fifth golf course, all of which will be operational in the next three years. A private international airport near Lagoi Bay is slated for completion by 2015.
"For Lagoi Bay, we have put in the infrastructure in order to attract new investors and open up new routes," said Mr Chia.
He revealed that 60 per cent of Lagoi Bay's land parcel has been sold or "in the process of negotiation with keen buyers", and the resort continues to be open to investments from both developers and individuals.
When asked about the impact of Lagoi Bay on tourism in the region, Mr Chia believes that it will "complement" regional tourist destinations, such as Bali and Singapore.
"Singapore and Bintan have and will continue to be sold as twin destinations," he said. Currently, Singapore residents make up 47 per cent of all tourist arrivals to Bintan, and 80 per cent of Bintan visitors arrive via Singapore.
BR is also looking at "re-shaping" Bintan into a large-scale eco-island beyond 2015.
"We still have a lot of land beyond Lagoi Bay. We are working with international master planners to look at what the next phase will be," said Mr Chia.