Singapore speeding up tourism with addition to Formula one event

Affected by a slump in the number of tourists to the city state, Singapore is boosting tourism initiatives with new additions to existing attractions such as Formula 1 racing events.

The state is making efforts to encourage tourists to visit Singapore and spend more at new attractions being offered by the state. New marquee events and attractions such as the Formula One night race have been planned to encourage visitor arrivals. S Iswaran, trade minister who oversees the tourism industry, said that tourist arrival to the city state is forecast to increase to 17 million. Further, tourism spending is expected to increase to SGD30bn by 2015.

Recently, the state had opened two casino resorts that include a downtown convention centre. It has also opened a Universal Studios theme park, which is believed to have increased the number of tourists visiting the city. The country expects the number of tourists to rise as much as 9.8 per cent to 14.5 million in 2012.

Iswaran said, ‘Compounding at double-digit rates for your visitor arrivals are OK in short bursts, but on a long-term basis, it will have its limits. The emphasis is on yield where tourism receipts grow at a faster rate.’

Singapore’s Formula One night race, which has been running for five years, attracts about 40,000 visitors to the island annually. The event has prominent companies such as Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (ST) and UBS AG (NYSE: UBS) involved in it, and entertainment is a key component of the race, Iswaran said.

This year, Formula One tickets would also offer access to concerts by performers such as Maroon 5, Katy Perry and Jay Chou. The state is expecting the majority of tourists for this week from Australia, the UK and the US.

The tourism minister also said that negotiations to extend Singapore’s contract for another five years are under way with the Formula One Administration.