With no F1 re­turn in sight, In­dian fans flock to Sin­ga­pore

Business Standard - - OPINION - PRESS TRUST OF IN­DIA

A siz­able num­ber of In­di­ans are sa­ti­at­ing their need for speed by flock­ing to Sin­ga­pore dur­ing the For­mula 1 week­end and the trend could con­tinue to grow with lit­tle pos­si­bil­ity of the high­pro­file race re­turn­ing home in the near fu­ture.

“The num­ber of In­di­ans vis­it­ing Sin­ga­pore is in­creas­ing an­nu­ally and we are also see­ing more traf­fic from In­dia dur­ing the Sin­ga­pore Grand Prix,” GB Srithar, re­gional di­rec­tor of South Asia at Sin­ga­pore Tourism Board, told PTI to­day.

“And they are not just com­ing here for the race, they are plan­ning their hol­i­day around the Grand Prix week. The in­ter­est is also there in the en­ter­tain­ment line up around the event. Not just In­dia, people from all around the world are vis­it­ing Sin­ga­pore dur­ing the race week,” he said.

Srithar said In­dia has be­come the fourth-largest mar­ket for Sin­ga­pore be­hind China, Malaysia and In­done­sia.

Over­all, as many as 6.6 lakh In­di­ans vis­ited Sin­ga­pore be­tween Jan­uary and May this year, a 15 per cent in­crease from last year. Around 1.1 mil­lion In­di­ans touched down in the city-state in 2016, an in­crease of eight per cent from the pre­vi­ous year.

The Grand Prix pe­riod not only at­tracts In­di­ans but tourists from all around the world. Since the night race’s in­cep­tion in 2008, Sin­ga­pore has re­ceived over 4,50,000 in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors and about SGD 1.4 bil­lion in tourism re­ceipts.

The sport’s first ever night race has be­come one of the high­lights of the sea­son and yes­ter­day Sin­ga­pore ex­tended its deal with For­mula 1 for an­other four years.

“The race is not only at­tract­ing hol­i­day tourists, a large num­ber also visit Sin­ga­pore dur­ing the Grand Prix week for busi­ness. What we are of­fer­ing is an over­all pack­age,” added Srithar.

Be­sides the ac­tion on the track, a host of mu­si­cal con­certs fea­tur­ing in­ter­na­tional artists and lifestyle events take place dur­ing the race week. Calvin Har­ris, Ari­ana Grande, The Chainsmok­ers, Seal and Du­ran Du­ran are among the artists per­form­ing this week.

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