If you were to name five of Singapore’s most famous landmarks, what might you include?
I’m assuming the Merlion, Marina Bay Sands, UNESCO World Heritage site The Botanic Gardens and Raffles Hotel would probably be high on your list. But how could we forget the iconic sight of the Singapore Flyer?
Rising 165m above the Singapore skyline, the Singapore Flyer is one of the world’s tallest observation wheels, which (haze permitting!) allows visitors to glimpse our neighbours Indonesia and Malaysia from any of its 28 air-conditioned capsules.
The Flyer took 2-1/2 years to construct and was the tallest observation wheel in the world until the High Roller wheel was constructed in Nevada, USA (beating it by just 2.6m).
However, things didn’t go smoothly for the project and in 2014, Straco Corporation (SGX:S85) announced its subsidiary Straco Leisure Pte Ltd would be purchasing the business and assets of the Singapore Flyer for $140m.
Chinese Tourist Attractions
Straco Corporation (Straco Corp) is no stranger to the operation and development of major tourist attractions. In addition to Singapore’s Flyer, the group owns Underwater World, Xiamen in the Chinese province of Fujian, as well as the world-renowned Shanghai Ocean Aquarium.
Indeed, Straco Corp was one of the first, foreign companies to venture into the Chinese market following the introduction of China’s Open Door Policy in the 1980s.
It also operates the Lintong Lixing Cable-Car in Xi’An, Shaanxi Province, which takes visitors to the midlevel of Lishan Mountain, where they can enjoy the breath-taking views of Hua Qing Palace, the former summer retreat of Emperor Tang Minhuang.
What’s more, Straco Corp has been granted special permission from China’s State Administration of Cultural Heritage to display relics unearthed from the Chao Yan Ge (CYG) site on Lishan Mountain (part of the Hua Qing Palace restoration project).
But did you know…
- If you’ve a few extra dollars and a desire to impress your loved one, you can book a Sky Dining experience on the Singapore Flyer – not only will you be treated to a 4-course menu, whilst gazing at the best view of Singapore, you’ll have a dedicated butler to serve it to you, too. If things go well, you can even get married on it!
- The Singapore Flyer is 30m taller than its sister, The London Eye and cost a whopping $240m to construct.
- In 2010, lightning struck the electric cable that supplied power to the air conditioning of the Singapore Flyer. The ride had to be shut down and 200 people evacuated.
- Straco CEO Mr Wu Hsioh Kwang graduated from Nanyang University and is the chairman of the Culture, Education and Community Affairs Committee at the Chinese Chamber of Commerce.
- Straco Corp has links to the infamous Moulin Rouge cabaret in Paris. In 2006, the company entered a joint venture with the Clericos, the music hall family that has managed both the Moulin Rouge and Lido cabarets for more than 60 years. Their joint company, Straco Creation Private Limited produces and manages avant-garde entertainment for a worldwide audience.
Today, Straco Corp prides itself for offering high quality tourism-related projects, which incorporate education and culture as well as entertainment, and providing its visitors with unique experiences.
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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Alison Hunt doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.