Inaugural Youth Olympic Games Will Boost Singapore’s Tourism Industry

SINGAPORE : Sports is not the only winner as Singapore hosts the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in 2010.

Tourism too is set to benefit, according to the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), which say the Games is expected to generate a minimum of 180,000 visitor nights for Singapore.

This is even more than the visitor nights generated when Singapore hosted the IMF/World Bank meeting in 2006.

The scrutiny from the international media will also help the Republic get additional worldwide coverage.

When Singapore last hosted the 117th IOC Session in 2005, the economy got an injection of US$24 million.

And with the Youth Olympic Games a larger scale event, the impact on the economy would be greater.

Catherine McNabb, Director, Strategic Clusters, STB, said: “The number of visitor arrivals for the Games itself, will be somewhere, we are estimating between 15,000 if you include the athletes, all of the IOC officials, media and spectators. So that in itself is a very large event, but I think what we will see is an increase in arrivals between now and 2010 in the leadup to the Games.”

Also expected to see a gradual build-up, the media coverage from the international media.

All in, STB estimates it could be hundreds of millions of dollar worth of publicity over the next two and a half years.

More than enough to outweigh the US$75 million cost of staging the Games.

Tourism aside, the private sector too is set to benefit when Singapore hosts the inaugural Youth Olympic Games, many small- and medium-sized companies are looking at marketing or sponsorship deals related to the event.

One of them, local fashion retailer 77th Street, which was an ardent supporter of the Singapore bid.

Elim Chew, President and Founder, 77th Street, said: “(It has to be) affordable for a small medium enterprise. Because we are still very much local, if they have different criteria, different ranking, or different amounts then we can sponsor.”

So Singapore will indeed score both on and off the competition arena when it stages its most important sporting event in the country’s history. – CNA/ch

Channel News Asia

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