Monday, April 26, 2010

Raffles Hotel to remain a gazetted National Monument

Any makeover plans for Raffles Hotel, which is to be sold to a Qatar sovereign wealth fund, will have to take into account its status as a gazetted National Monument.

Proposals for any addition or alteration to the iconic landmark building must comply with the Preservation Guidelines (PGL) under the Preservation of Monuments Act, and will require the approval of both the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and the Preservation of Monuments Board (PMB).

This is Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang’s written reply to a question from West Coast GRC MP Ho Geok Choo, who had asked about the impact of the hotel sale on the tourism and hotel industry, in Parliament today.

She also wanted to know if the proposed new look would affect the hotel’s heritage and iconic status.

In evaluating the proposal, PMB will ensure that the proposed works do not compromise the existing architectural and historical value of the hotel. The history and architecture of Raffles Hotel are unique features that set it apart from other hotels. Investors would have incentive to tap into this.

He added it is not unusual for hotels to undergo redevelopment and refurbishment to enhance their attractiveness. As the economy recovers and Singapore looks to tap on the growth in international travel, hotel room demand will be expected to increase as visitor arrival numbers grow.

The development plans for Raffles Hotel, together with the opening of new hotels, will add to the variety of accommodation experiences for tourists to choose from.

Source: AsiaOne, 26 Apr 2010

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