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Formula 1: Revving Up Economic Prosperity in Singapore

Written by: Arriyan Farooqui


Formula 1 is the pinnacle of motorsport. It’s a sport which travels the world, stopping at different circuits and racetracks around the world and competing in thrilling races at every stop. The F1 industry is a massive industry, pulling $2.573 billion in revenue in 2022, and it’s growing with every year. One of the jewels in the Formula 1 crown is the Singapore Grand Prix, an event hosted annually since 2008 (excluding 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic). The Singapore Grand Prix uses its status as one of the world's most prestigious sporting events to draw an international crowd that flocks to Singapore to witness the action on the Marina Bay Street Circuit.



The 2022 Singapore Grand Prix had a record-breaking attendance of 302,000, of which a staggering 49% were foreign visitors. This influx of visitors created an unprecedented surge in demand for accommodation in Singapore. Hotels across the city scramble to accommodate the guests, resulting in significantly higher room occupancy rates, average room costs, and hotel revenue. In September 2022, the month when the race occurred, Singapore witnessed a staggering 14.1% jump in average room prices compared to the previous month. Furthermore, monthly revenue for the hotel industry rose to an impressive S$390.8 million, marking a remarkable 24.6% increase compared to August 2022.


Another industry that greatly benefits from Formula 1 is the shopping industry, the industry experiences a significant boost in popularity during the Grand Prix weekend. With everyone from celebrities to average consumers all converging on Singapore at the same time. This creates a massive surge in visitors for shopping malls during the F1 weekend. For example The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, one of the most expensive malls in Singapore, witnessed a 44% increase in visitors, whilst VivoCity, a mall which has virtually anything you could buy, had an incredible 958% jump in visitors. Formula 1 themselves capitalises on the increase in visitors to shopping malls by setting up pop-up shops along highly travelled streets in Singapore, where tourists and locals alike are able to buy F1 merchandise.



While the Singapore Grand Prix is usually the focal point for tourists during their trip, its impact extends far beyond the race weekend. Many visitors choose to extend their stay in Singapore, keen to explore Singapore and experience what Singapore has to offer. This trend is reflected in the average length of visitor stays, which increased from 3.4 days in 2019 to 7.1 days in 2022. This leads to a continued influx of tourists and, subsequently, sustained business for the hotel industry.


An understated benefit of the Singapore Grand Prix is the sheer number of corporations and events that converge on the Grand Prix. The Grand Prix serves as a magnet for business events in Singapore, and corporate travellers use it for networking and meetings, amplifying Singapore’s stature as a global business hub. The Grand Prix also attracts Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions (MICE) events of the highest order. In 2022, 25 MICE events took place during the F1 period, with close to 90,000 delegates attending them, and including some of the most prestigious MICE events in the world, like the Forbes Global CEO Conference and the Milken Institute Asia Summit.


The Singapore Grand Prix is much more than just a Formula 1 race; it’s a catalyst for economic growth, tourism, and international prominence. As fans from around the globe descend upon Singapore to witness the action across 3 days, Singapore reaps rewards in every way. The Singapore Grand Prix serves as a perfect demonstration of the symbiotic relationship between sports and tourism, where an iconic race fuels prosperity for the host city.



Works Cited

Brown, Maury. “Inside The Numbers That Show Formula 1’s Popularity And Financial Growth.” Forbes, 2 October 2022, https://www.forbes.com/sites/maurybrown/2023/03/29/inside-the-numbers-that-show-formula-1s-popularity-and-financial-growth/?sh=5f8348954df6.

“Factsheet on Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix 2022.” Ministry of Trade and Industry, 2 October 2022, https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwiz0pjWkb6BAxWP7TgGHRcsA0UQFnoECA4QAw&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mti.gov.sg%2F-%2Fmedia%2FMTI%2FNewsroom%2FPress-Releases%2F2022%2F10%2FFactsheet-on-F1-Singapore-Grand-Prix-.

“How Singapore's Tourism, Restaurants, and Retail will be impacted by the Formula 1 Grand Prix - Near Intelligence.” Near's Data, 29 September 2022, https://near.com/blogs/how-singapores-tourism-restaurants-and-retail-will-be-impacted-by-the-f1-grand-prix/.

Mohan, Matthew. “F1 Singapore Grand Prix records highest attendance in race's 13-year history.” CNA, 2 October 2022, https://www.channelnewsasia.com/sport/f1-singapore-grand-prix-records-highest-attendance-races-13-year-history-2980631.

Tan, Elysia. “F1 drives Singapore hotels' average room rate, revenues to new highs in September.” The Business Times, 28 October 2022, https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/singapore/economy-policy/mobile-spotlight/f1-drives-singapore-hotels-average-room-rate-revenues-new.


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