SINGAPORE: The Trade and Industry Ministry says the community must accept the Singapore Formula One race as a necessary event in Singapore.
This is because the race has reaped benefits such as enhancing Singapore’s image and bringing in more tourism receipts.
The 2012 race may be in its fifth year but the F1 demand is revving up more sales in the Orchard Road shopping belt compared to previous years.
The Orchard Road Business Association says it expects to see a 10 per cent increase in sales this year compared to last year.
Steven Goh, executive director of Orchard Road Business Association, said: "I can’t imagine a September retail cycle without the F1 season, because traditionally September is a low season for retailers. But for the past four years, we have benefited from the F1 Grand Prix season and this year is no exception."
Many say the extension of the Grand Prix in Singapore is welcome news.
One visitor from Sweden said: "It’s good... there’s a lot of people coming in here from different parts of the world and I think it’s a great opportunity for Singapore and Singaporeans to show off their country."
"It’s incredible, especially with a street circuit like Singapore’s. It’s unbelievable — one of a kind," said a visitor from Australia.
Others said the F1 will be good for the economy and create jobs as well.
"The hotel will see booming business. At the same time, all the shopping centres will also ’boom’. So one year once, I think Singapore should cater to the kind of crowd coming in," said Ms Jane Pang.
However, the race is unpopular among some locals as the city’s financial district is sealed off for the weekend, causing traffic difficulties.
"As a man on the street who is working around the area...I think it has really inconvenienced me, in terms of getting to work, the crowd, the noise and everything," said Mr Albert Lee.
The government says it will work towards addressing the inconveniences.
"You can look at the downtime and (road) closure, there’s a reduction. It gets more and more efficient as the years go by," said Mr Teo Ser Luck, Minister of State for Trade and Industry.
"The instructions, directions and all that, we try our very best to be as clear as possible. The notices given to stakeholders as well as the public, we try to be as clear and as informative as possible. Those are the refinements," he added.
"And of course, working with all the stalls and the retailers and shopping malls, getting closer and closer to understand (the difficulties) they’re facing."
Mr Teo said it’s important to ensure the F1 event benefits Singapore as a whole.
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