Saturday, September 20, 2008

Formula One night race

SINGAPORE: Singapore is hoping that the Formula One night race next weekend will help the country position itself as a premier lifestyle destination and the Monaco of the East.

It is all systems go for the world’s first F1 night race and about 50,000 tourists are expected to be here for the event, along with 500 million television viewers worldwide.

Tickets are almost sold out. The only ones left are those that cost US$1,800 and there are only less than 100 of them left.

Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry, S.Iswaran, believes the event will help boost future tourism arrivals and also sees it as an excellent networking platform for local businessmen.

They can host their clients in these corporate suites which cost US$3,100 to US$4,800 per person, promising excellent views and immaculate service.

The current financial meltdown may be affecting tourism spending worldwide. But Mr Iswaran said the F1 fanbase has a healthy appetite for retail.

Mr Iswaran added that affordable tickets have also been made available for heartlanders. Besides, many people are also participating as volunteer marshalls and F1 ambassadors.

He also said that besides the actual race, there are fringe events like the Singapore River Festival and Singapore Biennale which all Singaporeans can enjoy.

Singapore is expected to make about US$77 million from tourism receipts during the night race. It costs Singapore US$115 million to host the race. — CNA/vm

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