Singapore F1 tickets selling fast, hotel bookings up for race weekend, Latest Others News - The New Paper

Singapore F1 tickets selling fast, hotel bookings up for race weekend

Organisers of the Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix are expecting ticket sales for this year's race to at least match that of 2019, which saw the second-highest attendance since the Republic started hosting the Formula One race in 2008.

The 2019 race, the last to be staged here before the Covid-19 pandemic, drew a three-day total of 268,000 spectators, the second-highest after the 300,000 at the 2008 inaugural race.

The 2022 edition will be the first since Singapore announced in January a new seven-year deal to continue hosting a F1 race here.

The race was cancelled in the last two years because of the pandemic.

Responding to The Straits Times' queries on Wednesday (Aug 10), a Singapore GP spokesman said: "Based on the current ticket sales, we are confident that we will at least meet 2019's numbers."

Tickets for the Sept 30-Oct 2 race went on sale on April 13, with three-day grandstand and combination tickets snapped up within six hours.

A check by ST on Thursday showed tickets are selling fast, with limited tickets for seven out of 38 categories, including wheelchair accessible platforms and one-day pit grandstand tickets for Sept 30 and Oct 1.

Hotels near the street circuit area that ST spoke to are expecting high demand during the race weekend from tourists, locals and race enthusiasts.

From 2008 to 2019, hotels, especially those in the downtown area, enjoyed near-capacity occupancy during race week.

In 2019, JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach was fully booked, while other nearby hotels, including Fairmont Singapore and Swissotel The Stamford, reported 90 per cent occupancy rate during the race weekend.

Checks by ST on various booking platforms and hotel websites showed that trackside hotels were going at $1,364 to $2,731 a night during the race weekend, as compared with the preceding weekend of between $450 and $2,731 per night, with at least one hotel already sold out for the race period.

Some hotels such as Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay, Singapore, and Pan Pacific Singapore offer trackview room packages which range from $1,989 to $2,118.

Hotels near the street circuit area that ST spoke to are expecting high demand during the race weekend from tourists, locals and race enthusiasts. PHOTO: ST FILE


Mr Mark Aldridge, director of sales and marketing at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore, said: "We are booked out for the Singapore Grand Prix this year, and we attribute the demand and interest to it being the resumption of the night race in Singapore after two years of the global pandemic."

Mr Christopher Kang, director of commercial strategy at Mandarin Oriental, Singapore, said the hotel's occupancy from Sept 30 to Oct 2 is above 80 per cent.

"On average, we do see a high percentage of bookings by international travellers, with nearly 90 per cent booked by international travellers," he said.

Mr Marcus Hanna, managing director of Fairmont Singapore and Swissotel The Stamford, said both hotels will be very busy for the F1 period as overall demand is high for trackside hotels with great views of the race.

Mr Hanna said many tourists have made their bookings at both hotels to experience the night racing action around the street circuit after a two-year hiatus.

"We have definitely seen a much stronger take-up than originally anticipated. Covid-19 seems to have created a pent-up demand especially for events and experiences that were not possible during the pandemic," he added.

At JW Marriott Singapore South Beach, general manager Nick Heath said the hotel expects to run full capacity during the race weekend.

Mr Gino Tan, country general manager at The Fullerton Hotels and Resorts, said occupancy at The Fullerton Hotel and The Fullerton Bay Hotel is currently at peak levels and he anticipates an increased pace of bookings in the coming weeks.

Economists said the race will have a positive impact on Singapore's tourism and businesses.

Fans at the Marina Bay Street Circuit during the F1 race in September 2019. PHOTO: ST FILE


CIMB Private Banking economist Song Seng Wun said the race would create temporary jobs for various industries such as cleaners and logistics companies that provide lighting for the event.

Ms Selena Ling, chief economist and head of treasury research and strategy at OCBC Bank, said the F1 event is a welcome return to normality and will add to the allure and buzz of Singapore as a tourism hub, which would benefit the hospitality-related industries.

However, she noted this may not move the needle for the overall gross domestic product.

"As the external economic environment is deteriorating and while international visitor arrivals should continue to expand, this is coming from a relatively low base," added Ms Ling.