SINGAPORE: The WTA Championships slated to be held in Singapore next October is expected to attract more than 100,000 people.
The World Sport Group, which helped clinch the five-year hosting deal for Singapore, estimates that about 30 to 40 per cent of spectators will be foreign visitors.
It said ticket prices will be kept affordable, and ticketing details will be released by year's end.
The WTA Championships will feature the world's best women tennis players slugging it out at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
But the action will go beyond the court. There will be ticketed concerts by world-class acts and other fringe activities which will come for free.
Mr Andrew Georgiou, CEO of World Sport Group, promises there will be something for everyone during the 10-day festival.
Mr Georgiou said: "We want the people of Singapore and sports fan from around the world who come to Singapore during those 10 days to be able to experience a lot of what we are offering with the championships. So whether it is autograph sessions with Maria Sharapova or the superstars, whether it is watching interviews on the big screens, whether having a drink or seeing how fast you can serve or practicing your back hand with a coach, this fan festival will be an opportunity for the community to come and embrace the event free-of-charge."
The sporting event is expected to be comparable to the Formula One Night Race in September, which draws in about 40,000 tourists annually and generates an average of about $140 million in tourism revenue.
Organisers said tickets will range from "very affordable" prices to premium ones.
Mr Georgiou said: "Tickets which range right up to key clients, hospitality and tickets which provide a real premium service to the fans. The idea of engaging the community and making them part of it is also to make the event authentically Singaporean which is also very important to us."
The Singapore Hotel Association said the tennis event should create as much - if not more - buzz than the F1 race, as tennis has a bigger following.
Hotels that MediaCorp spoke with said they expect to see positive trends in revenue growth, as well as occupancy and room rates.
The Four Seasons Hotel, which has four tennis courts, said it is looking forward to the world-class tennis champions practising in the courts.
Mr Antoine Chahwan, Regional Vice President and General Manager of Four Seasons Hotel, said: "We are confident that with proper planning in place to ensure visitors have a definitive experience in Singapore over this period of time, the inaugural WTA championship will be another successful event in Singapore's history."
Some said they will start marketing efforts a year in advance.
Mr Alexandra Schmutterer, Director of Marketing Communication at Pan Pacific Singapore, said: "The F1 Grand Prix have boosted occupancy and room rates tremendously, so I would expect WTA will also have the same results for us as a hotel. So we will definitely have room packages in place that will attract visitors to come to our hotel and stay with us."
Singapore will host the WTA championships till 2018. - CNA/de
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