Thursday, August 16, 2007

Decision On Day Or Night F1 Race Expected By Year's End

A decision on whether the Formula One race in Singapore will take place at night or in the day is expected by year's end, said Minister of State for Trade and Industry S Iswaran, on the sidelines of a sports event at Sentosa.
Mr Iswaran also addressed concerns raised about the 20 percent levy imposed on non-trackside hotels during the race period.

He assured these hotels that they would also benefit when the race hits town in September next year as there would be ample demand for hotels across the island.

He said: "When we have an event like F1, you would expect about a 100,000 visitors. Of that 100,000, maybe 30 or 40 percent will be visitors who come in over a three- or four-day period.

"That in itself would create quite a significant increase in the demand for hotel rooms in Singapore and it's not just the 5-star hotels or those on the trackside that will benefit from that. It will have a spillover effect across the island."

The minister added that trials are underway to check if it is safe to have a night race.

A decision is expected by year's end as this will ensure there will be ample time for preparations to market the race globally.

"Next year is quite interesting because there will be the Beijing Olympics in August, our race in September, followed by the ones in Japan and China. Not a bad timing for the overall activity in the region – there will be a lot of tourist and travel interest," said Mr Iswaran.

While the Singapore Tourism Board is looking into offering more activities during the race to create more buzz, the private sector here is also encouraged to capitalise on the race by coming up with interesting business proposals.

Aug 14, 2007
Patwant Singh -

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