No One Responded After STB Asked for Proposal to Develop Jurong Lake District into Tourism Development


Singapore is undoubtedly a very small country.

Despite being a country that attracts around 19 million tourists a year, one can probably finish exploring the city within a span of five to six days.

This is due to the small number of tourist attractions we have compared to other countries around the world.

To increase the number of tourist attractions, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) launched a request for proposals for an integrated tourism development in Jurong Lake District earlier this year.

However, to STB’s surprise, no one submitted a proposal to them for this development.

Uncertain Economic Environment is a Factor

In an interview with The Straits Times, Ashlynn Loo, STB’s director for attractions, entertainment and tourism concept development, mentions that STB understands that due to the instability of the economy earlier in the year and the global political instability, many stakeholders were wary, causing the request for the proposals to be affected.

Mr Tay Hong Beng, Head of Real Estate at KPMG, says that one of the main reasons why there were no bidders was because of the uncertainty of whether or not the Chinese Government would relax the country’s travel restrictions.


This is an important factor because Chinese tourists made up a huge proportion of visitors to Singapore before the pandemic happened. Hence, if the travel restrictions in China are not lifted, it would negatively impact the outcome of the project.

However, despite this negative response, STB states that they remain firm with their views on the Jurong Lake District, especially with the new and other upcoming developments around the area, such as the new Science Centre, which is set to open again in 2027.

STB Wanted Jurong to be a Tourism Hub

Back in March 2022, STB announced that they wanted to transform the Jurong Lake District into a lifestyle and tourism hub by developing a 6.8-hectare site located beside Jurong Lake Garden.

The plan was to incorporate multiple high-quality accommodations accompanied by various attractions, retail outlets and food & beverage options while placing emphasis on technology, sustainability and “edutainment” (Education + Entertainment).


This development is planned to include at least 35,000 sq m of attraction space and around 21,000 sq m of hotel space, which will allow for about 350 hotel rooms.

The reason why STB chose Jurong Lake District to become a Tourism Hub was because of the other attractions that are already there or are currently in development.

For example, Jurong Lake District has the Jurong Lake Garden, which is a 90-hectare space that is filled with beautiful nature and will also have the new Science Centre, which is set to be completed in 2027.

Adding to the huge amount of nature that is currently present, the Chinese and Japanese Gardens are expected to make a comeback soon after going through years of renovation.

Furthermore, many shopping centres, such as JEM and Westgate are located around the area.

IMM is also located nearby the Jurong Lake District and it houses many factory outlets that are sure to attract tourists.

According to STB’s marketing materials, their target was to open the new tourism development in 2028.

However, after receiving no proposals before the cut-off date on 18 Oct, this deadline seems unlikely.

120-hectare of Land Will be Available for Development

Over the next 20 years, the government plans to focus on developing the Jurong Lake District by allowing the sale of sites within the area.

It is stated that in the next 30 years, roughly about 120-hectare of land around the Jurong Lake District will be put up for development purposes.


According to STB, there will be an estimated of 20,000 new homes, with four major rail lines serving the district by the early 2030s.

The four major rail lines are:

  • East-West Line
  • North-South Line
  • Jurong Region Line
  • Cross-Island Line

Factors that STB was Considering

During the release of their request in March, STB mentioned that the whole site will be leased to the developer with the best proposal for the next 60 years.

Upon being accepted as the developer, the developer would have to complete the project within five years, a task that is rather hard to accomplish.

According to STB’s document on the proposal request, they state that the attractions in the development should be new and the first of its kind, preferably with a strong focus on media and technology to attract at least one million visitors per year.

Furthermore, even though they want it to be futuristic and focused on technology, STB mentions that the development should not compete with the nearby new Science Centre, which will be naturally incorporated with the natural landscape of the Jurong Lake Garden.


The target audience of the development was also heavily emphasized by STB, with them mentioning that the attractions should be able to capture the attention of various groups such as families and the elderly.

To add to the already difficult task, STB mentioned that the hotel that will be located in the development should be unique when compared to other hotels in Singapore, which will make the development even more attractive.

To ensure the sustainability of the project, bidders would have to provide meticulous plans for multiple content refreshes during their lease period.

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Featured Image: Singapore Tourism Board & Shutterstock L.Yeung

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