Rooms in some hotels snapped up for F1 Singapore Grand Prix weekend five months ahead of event
Two hotels say they started getting bookings as soon as the last race ended.
SINGAPORE: It may be five months away from the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix, but some hotels near the Marina Bay Circuit are already getting booked up for the race weekend.
With more countries having eased their COVID-19 restrictions since last year’s race, hotels in the city centre are once again gearing up for full houses ahead of this year's edition, which will be held from Sep 15 to 17.
One hotel seeing its rooms snapped up is The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, which offers a front-row seat to the track and a view of the iconic Turn 13 hairpin.
Country general manager of The Fullerton Hotels and Resorts Gino Tan attributed the expected higher turnout in part to China and Hong Kong relaxing their COVID-19 border restrictions. Other parts of the world are also warming up to the Grand Prix, he added.
Last year was the introduction of the Grand Prix in Las Vegas, he noted.
“The American market has gotten a taste of the F1, and we've seen a significant interest as well coming from that part of the world,” he told CNA.
CATERING TO OVERSEAS AND DOMESTIC GUESTS
He added that there are some popular rooms that are repeatedly booked by corporate clients yearly for the race weekend.
“Grand Prix is not just for overseas guests. We also cater to our own domestic Singaporeans and a lot of them would like to take the time off and enjoy the sights and so on because of our unique location,” he said.
Swissotel similarly said its trackside rooms are almost sold out. With the pandemic over, people are excited this year, said its managing director William Haandrikman.
“They want to hear the engines and the nice thing is for us, we have balconies. You can open the windows, you can listen and so you're really into the (race). We expect a busy, busy, busy weekend,” he said.
Both hotels said that they started getting bookings as soon as the last race ended.
Pan Pacific Hotel, located on the circuit's Turn Six, has also reported strong interest, with more than half its rooms taken up. A check on travel websites by CNA showed rooms going for more than S$1,000 a night for the race weekend.
PREPARING FOR THE CROWD
The Fullerton and Swissotel said their staff are ready for the crowd.
"It is not the only weekend that our hotel is so busy. We do have a lot of conferences (so) it means our staff is trained to manage big crowds,” said Mr Haandrikman.
“Our team is trained to manage the crowd, to manage fans, especially with Formula One, we'll have a lot of fans in the lobby, outside,” he added.
At the Fullerton, the race weekend will likely mean all hands on deck with everyone, including management members, rolling up their sleeves, just like last year.
While it remains unknown for now who will finish on the podium come race day in September, observers said Singapore's tourism industry has already emerged the winner, with the race contributing more than S$1.5 billion in incremental tourism receipts since its debut here in 2008.