'Singapore must come alive during F1 event'

'Singapore must come alive during F1 event'
MILESTONE: Mr S Iswaran (above, in red) expects a special race year in 2015, as Singapore celebrates its 50th anniversary.

The Formula One Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix, which will see its seventh edition here from Sept 19 to 21, has been an undisputed success as the world's only night race.

But impetus to drive the world-class event forward does not lie with just its title sponsor and race organisers - it is also down to the rest of the city to come alive whenever the race comes to town.

Speaking at the Karting Championship finals at the F1 Pit Building yesterday, Mr S Iswaran, the Second Minister for Home Affairs and Second Minister for Trade and Industry, said that businesses in Singapore must try to leverage on the night race and come up with innovative ways to extend the event beyond the circuit.

He said: "There have been many activities lined up every year and many establishments do get on board (with the event).

"Businesses in Orchard Road, Clarke Quay and hotels downtown have all embraced the race and, every year, they try to come up with different ways to promote their businesses in line with the F1. "We encourage it, but we leave a lot of it up to the private businesses. It's up to them to leverage on it."

In line with extending the event beyond the race track, the Singapore Tourism Board has launched a "Grand Prix Season Singapore" campaign, which runs from Sept 12 to 21. The lifestyle-driven movement highlights the various retail, dining and entertainment options around the island.


Mr Iswaran maintained that Singapore's challenge is to constantly keep activities fresh and interesting every year.

"It's not always about doing something new, but about making what we have better," he said.

"This year's karting championships is a good example; it's a new way of reaching out to a younger demographic (15-21 years old) and is also timely because of the launch of a new karting circuit (in Kranji)." When asked about the race events during Singapore's 50th anniversary next year, the minister said the significance will not be lost on race organisers.

"Every year, we try to create something special. We will have to make it extra special next year," he said.

This article was first published on August 31, 2014.
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