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Singapore’s Resorts World, a major employer, axes jobs as virus batters tourism

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SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Resorts World Sentosa, one of Singapore’s biggest private sector employers, said on Wednesday it was laying off staff to cut costs as the coronavirus pandemic batters the city-state’s tourism industry.

The company, owned by Genting Singapore Ltd (GENS.SI), did not disclose how many jobs will be lost, but the local Straits Times newspaper said the cuts were “significant”.

A spokesperson for Resorts World Sentosa said the firm had over 7,000 full-time employees at the end of 2019, but declined to comment on its current employment level. The Genting Singapore website says RWS is one of Singapore’s largest employers.

Resorts World Sentosa’s facilities, spread over 49 hectares, encompass a hotel, a casino and a Universal Studios theme park among other attractions.

“We have made the difficult decision to implement a one-off workforce rationalisation,” it said in a statement.

A handful of staff trudging past mostly quiet restaurants outside the entrance to the casino on Wednesday afternoon told Reuters they had been called in to meet with the human resources department.

Singapore’s economy plunged into recession in the second quarter, shrinking a record 41% from the previous quarter, data showed on Tuesday, putting it on track for its deepest slump ever.

The tourism industry, which contributes about 4% to the economy, has been one of the worst affected sectors due to travel restrictions and a lockdown that lasted more than two months to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Across the causeway, casino operator Genting Malaysia (GENM.KL) was cutting 3,000 jobs, or about 15% of its workforce, media reported last month. Genting Malaysia did not respond to a request for comment.

Genting Singapore and Genting Malaysia are part of Malaysian conglomerate Genting Berhad (GENT.KL).

“COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the tourism industry is unprecedented, immediate, and immense,” Singapore’s National Trades Union Congress said in a statement on the job cuts.

It added that it was working with Resorts World Sentosa on compensation terms, and would help affected employees with training and finding new jobs.

Just last year the company announced it would invest about S$4.5 billion ($3.2 billion) to expand its tourist attractions in the city-state.

Reporting and photo: Reuters

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Maldives celebrates arrival of 2024’s 1 millionth tourist

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Maldives on Thursday welcomed the one millionth tourist to visit this year.

The one millionth tourist is a Thai named Sutapa Amonwivat, who arrived from Singapore with her husband and two children. This is her second visit to Maldives.

Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) and the Ministry of Tourism gave a warm welcome to Sutapa at the Velana International Airport (VIA) Thursday afternoon. She was welcomed at the VIA by tourism minister Ibrahim Faisal, MMPRC Managing Director Ibrahim Shiury and senior officials of various relevant agencies.

After welcoming her with traditional offerings, she was presented with various gifts by the ministry, MMPRC, customs, immigration, Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) and Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA).

Maldives reached one million tourists in June, three weeks earlier than last year. The number of tourists reached one million on July 16, 2023.

Maldives expects to reach 2 million tourists this year.

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New air route connects Chongqing to Maldives

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Chongqing Airlines on Monday began its inaugural flights to Maldives.

The Chongqing-Male route, scheduled three times a week, is expected to strengthen the bonds between China and the Maldives, opening up exciting new opportunities for tourism and cultural exchange.

The inaugural flight was welcomed upon its arrival at Velana International Airport (VIA) in Maldives, where local officials and tourism representatives expressed their enthusiasm for this new development.

“We warmly welcome our friends from China to our beautiful islands. This new connection strengthens our bonds and opens up new opportunities for tourism,” the tourism ministry said on X.

Maldives currently welcomes four airlines from China, including China Eastern, Beijing Capital Airlines, Xiamen Airlines.

In January, Maldives government urged tourism stakeholders in both Maldives and China to ramp up efforts to restore China’s position as the primary source market for Maldives tourism, a status held before the onset of Covid-19.

China, being the largest source market for Maldives tourism before the pandemic, saw a resumption of tourist arrivals from January 2023 after a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic. In 2023, the Maldives welcomed 187,118 Chinese tourists, marking a significant recovery in numbers. This year, the Maldives has welcomed the most number of tourists from China, with over 107,940 or 11.5 percent of total arrivals by June 12. 

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CROSSROADS Maldives Introduces Weixin Pay at resorts for seamless guest experience

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CROSSROADS Maldives has introduced WeChat Pay, widely known as Weixin Pay in China, across its world-class resorts, SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton, and Hard Rock Hotel Maldives. This payment option is made available to enhance the convenience and overall experience for guests from China, making their stay in the Maldives more enjoyable and hassle-free.

Understanding the needs of the diverse guests, CROSSROADS Maldives has integrated WeChat Pay into operations, allowing guests from China to easily and securely conduct transactions using a payment method familiar to them. The introduction of WeChat Pay is a testament to CROSSROADS Maldives’ dedication to enhancing guest satisfaction by offering exceptional experiences at every turn. What is also expected through this initiative is that the guests could benefit from better foreign exchange rates, translating to better savings on their expenditures during their stay.

The option is available for guests in-house conveniently at both resorts as well as across the Marina at CROSSROADS Maldives where a wider variety of unparalleled dining and retail experiences are available for all guests. The day visitors from China will also therefore equally benefit from this new introduction at the Maldives’ premier multi-island integrated leisure destination.

SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton, is a vibrant tropical escape that offers unique and locally inspired experiences. The resort features spacious rooms and villas, a variety of dining options, and an array of recreational activities designed to cater to the desires of modern travellers. Guests can escape to the island’s SAiisational natural beauty, enjoy water sports, and indulge in spa treatments, all while relishing the personalised service that defines Hilton’s Curio Collection.

Hard Rock Hotel Maldives brings the iconic Hard Rock spirit to the tranquil shores of the Maldives. This family-friendly resort offers a perfect blend of relaxation and entertainment, featuring music-inspired experiences, live performances, and the brand’s signature amenities. With luxurious accommodations, diverse dining options, and a plethora of activities for all ages, Hard Rock Hotel Maldives ensures an unforgettable holiday experience for every guest.

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