Singapore eyes sporting events growth

Singapore eyes sporting events growth

Singapore Tourist Board (STB) has revealed it plans to expand its calendar of sporting events and infrastructure in the coming years to boost tourism to the city-state. As well as staging the Youth Olympic Games in two weeks, the city will host a Formula 1 race in September and plans to open new sporting facilities in 2014. “Sporting events are taking on a new dimension in Singapore,” STB Regional Director for Europe John Conceicao told Travel Daily. “We built a national stadium in 1970 but we have outgrown it so we will have a new sports hub.” Conceicao revealed the stadium will feature an open-roof as well as a section that will remain open to Singapore Harbour providing spectators the ability to view ocean going events.”When we look at a sporting event [such as Formula 1] it’s not just that event because it brings in other peripheral activities,” explained Conceicao. “F1 is a catalyst for attracting other activities and is used as a pretext to networking and business. For example, all the private banks hold events during F1 and they bring high networking individuals into Singapore for meetings. F1 also meets the requirements of other travellers who visit the event as a family. Women who are not interested in F1 come for the shopping opportunities and then young people fly in for the rock concert. So there is a buzz in the city generated by the one event.” Singapore is also tapping into the sports market by adapting its attractions to sporting events in Europe. This is significant as Brits remain the biggest market for Formula 1 races worldwide. Conceicao did however reveal that visitor numbers to Singapore had dropped as a result of fewer tourist stops to Australia. “We are seeing the number of visitors going to Australia decline because of the exchange rates,” he admitted. “When there is a decline in numbers to Australia you will see a decline in passengers to Singapore because Singapore is always used as a stopover. So I think we will probably see a peak in November because of the Christmas light up.” The city’s peak period for British travellers is from November to February

Gary Marshall
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Gary Marshall
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