Singapore has never been the cheapest city to spend a night in, let alone the cheapest city to watch a Formula 1 race in – but hotel prices are reaching silly levels as bankers, the jet-set and revheads are flocking to the city ahead of the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix.
Since its addition to the F1 calendar in 2018, the Singapore Grand Prix has carved out a dedicated following. The Marina Bay Street Circuit, the first-ever night race in F1, is widely considered to be one of the most challenging and unique tracks in the world, and regularly draws huge crowds thanks to its host city’s nature as an international travel hub.
The Singapore Grand Prix was cancelled in both 2020 and 2021 due to COVID, and is set to return to the Formula 1 World Championship this year – and fans are absolutely champing at the bit to go watch the race, driving hotel prices sky-high.
According to Bloomberg, rooms at top-flight venues including the iconic Marina Bay Sands or the storied Raffles Hotel have been sold out for much of the coming month – many at upwards of $2,000 a pop – although even before that surge, accommodation costs in Singapore had reached their highest in a decade, they explain.
It’s not just the F1 that’s drawing people to The Garden City, though. A number of big investment conferences are also being held in the city over September and October, including SuperReturn Asia, the Milken Institute Asia Summit, the Forbes Global CEO Conference and several crypto-related events.
Singapore’s insane hotel room demand and packed event schedule lie in stark contrast to rival Asian financial hub Hong Kong’s barren events calendar. The Chinese city has been reluctant to lift strict COVID guidelines, which are crippling the city’s attractiveness as a tourist destination as the rest of the world returns to ‘business as usual’.
Indeed, two major Hong Kong marathon events were just cancelled at the last minute, with organisers explaining the government had taken too long to give them certainty around permission and citing COVID transmission concerns, South China Morning Post reports.
The 2022 Singapore Grand Prix will run from the 30th of September to the 2nd of October, with lights out on the 2nd scheduled for 11pm AEDT (states that observe daylight savings will switch over to daylight savings time on the morning of the 2nd so don’t get caught out).