Formula One to rev up longer stays in Singapore

Sebastian Vettel in Singapore

Industry members are hopeful that the renewal of the Singapore Grand Prix night race for another four years will spur demand for extended stays in the city.

According to Sojern’s Russell Young, managing director, APAC, 52 per cent of travellers arriving during the week of the Formula One (F1) race “choose to stay for six to over 12 days, well beyond the actual race weekend”.

He also remarked that the race boosts Singapore’s tourism receipts in components other than accommodation, “especially when half of these tourists look to stay in Singapore longer than the actual event”.

Sebastian Vettel in Singapore; photo credit: Singapore GP

He explained: “The injection that the economy gets in terms of tourism receipts should also not be underestimated, since tourists would undoubtedly be spending on other things besides accommodation, like food and shopping.”

Linda Low, CMP strategic partnership & product marketing manager of Destination Services, holds faith that F1’s “branding effect will (continue to) benefit (Singapore’s) tourism”, having “put Singapore on the entertainment world map” since its inception here.

Likewise, Garth Simmons, COO AccorHotels for Malaysia, Singapore & Indonesia, said that international events and festivals such as the Singapore Grand Prix pull in tourist numbers.

In order to maximise this mileage, industry players must work together to encourage visitors extend their stay in Singapore, said Joseph Sze, director of CSI Marketing China.

“We used to have special customised tour packages, where we worked with hotels that offered free third or fourth nights as well as discounts,” he said. “But they no longer offer that.”

To keep tourists in town, Sze opined that such promotions should be brought back, more fringe activities organised with a lower entry price than the races, as well as better publicity campaigns in key tourist markets.

“F1 has been quiet and it’s not very visible overseas anymore, especially in China,” said Sze.

Sojern’s Young surmised: “While Formula One might be an initial draw or attraction, there is still much scope for marketers – including non-travel brands – to leverage upon this boost in tourist footfall.”

For example, travel marketers can find out if these travellers are stopping by countries other than Singapore, and target them with specific advertisements and promotions related to these other destinations, said Young.

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