Singapore cuts Formula One hotel levy to help tourism industry

Singapore tourism industrySingapore - A levy imposed on Singapore's hotels during the 2008Formula One Grand Prixseason is to be reduced this year to help the city-state's ailingtourism industry.

As Singapore's hotels are hit hard by slumping tourist arrivals, the five-night levy that hotels had to pay during the hosting of the inaugural F1 race last year would be reduced to a four-night period, the Singapore Tourism Board said Friday.

The 2009 Singapore F1 Grand Prix is scheduled to get under way in September.

"This is a special measure for hotels this year, taking into consideration the current economic downturn," the board and the Ministry of Trade said in a statement.

However, the rates for the F1 levy remain unchanged. The 13 hotels nearest to the track are to pay a levy of 30 per cent on revenue from rooms and room packages while other hotels pay 20 per cent.

Singapore's hosting of its inaugural F1 race last year gave the tourism industry a big boost.

The 2008 Grand Prix attracted more than 40,000 overseas visitors and generated 168 million Singapore dollars (109 million US dollars) in tourism receipts.

Hotels earned a record 462 Singapore dollars in revenue per available room during the race period, 132.3 per cent more than the average for 2008. (dpa)