Singapore Flyer raises its game

Television sets on its premises and in each of its 28 capsules showing live Formula 1 action. Fringe activities such as fire twirlers, samba dance and live band performances. Deejays hitting the deck and gigs by local celebrities like Kumar and John Molina.

The Singapore Flyer is going all out with these to woo visitors during the Republic’s inaugural night Grand Prix race over the weekend of September 26-28.

“Next to getting an F1 Paddock Pass, you can’t get any closer to the pit building than at the Singapore Flyer,” said its general manager Steven Yeo.

But it appears to be the only tourist attraction in town doing so.

A random check with other popular attractions, such as Sentosa, the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari, revealed that little has been planned to tap the influx of at least 50,000 visitors for the race.

This, when the Flyer is rolling out a slew of ticketing packages to cater to crowds of various levels of affluence: From a regular flight at S$29.50 with an open bar, to a luxurious lounge party at S$688, which includes a three-day trackside pass.

With Singapore hosing the first F1 night race, it seems the perfect opportunity to aggressively market this as the choice tourist destination – and also boost chances of hitting the target of 10.8 million visitors this year, given slowing tourist arrivals in the first half.

So, why are other tourist attractions not doing more?

It could be because they do not think these will increase visitorship significantly, said tourism and hospitality expert Judy Siguaw.

“The other tourist attractions might not think it is necessary to have special promotions or programmes. We have the Singapore Biennale and the Singapore River Festival going on at the same time, for example, and these visitors will have enough on their hands to keep them entertained,” said the dean of the Cornell-Nanyang Institute of Hospitality Management.

But it’s not as if nothing can be done to “sell” Singapore, Dr Siguaw added. Having readily available information at the airport on the sights and activities in Singapore “wouldn’t hurt”.

Meanwhile, the Singapore Mint and Logo House Singapore will be launching commemorative F1 coins and medallions tomorrow.

The S$2 silver proof coin and S$2 cupro-nickel proof-like coin will be sold at S$282 and S$47 each.

Source : Today – 11 Sep 2008

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