Singapore River One set to boost events scene

Singapore’s big plan to redevelop the Singapore River precinct, its night life central, should make it a draw for tourists and the events sector, say industry professionals.

The area, which includes Boat Quay, Clarke Quay and Robertson Quay, will get an image refresher with several significant moves.

The target budget for the first three years of plan implementation is estimated to be SG$5.3 million. By year four and five, the SRO aims to generate substantial funding through memberships and sponsorships, said the company.

The entire five-year business plan will be led by private organisation Singapore River One in collaboration with government authorities such as the Land Transport Authority, Urban Redevelopment Authority, Singapore Land Authority and Singapore Tourism Board and private stakeholders. The plan was announced earlier this month.

Circular Road is also set to become a part-time pedestrians-only road and Boat Quay will be repositioned as a vibrant destination. A three-month trial pilot program will begin with effect from 1 November and part of the street will be closed to vehicular traffic on Fridays and Saturdays from 6pm to 1am.

Currently, the Singapore River and its three quays include 500 property owners, 700 business owners and 10,000 residents.

“Boat Quay is often overlooked compared to other areas, and this plan will draw new tenants to the area,” Tyrone Tabing, executive director of SRO told Marketing Events.

Tabing added that the aim is to bring more footfall into the area, increase sales, appeal to prospective businesses and get pedestrians to experience Club Street’s architecture.

Meanwhile, a weekly campaign by the SRO, done in partnership with Visa is also running until mid-November called “Tuesdays by the River”; aiming to promote the area’s nightlife experience.  It will have Visa in a one-year partnership as the official card for the Singapore River.

A major events draw?

According to industry professionals, this will not only inject vibrancy into Singapore’s night life, but the events sector as well.

Eam Sumati, experiential director, Iris Singapore said: “This initiative will create a livelier atmosphere, including the increase in food and music outlets.”

This could lead to more street parties and outdoor events that could be a key date on the social calendar for Singapore, especially for brands, suggested Sumati.

He points to how the St Jerome’s Laneway Festival first started off as a street festival in Australia and subsequently expanded into a franchise event that expanded into other countries like Singapore. He said that the SRO’s initiative could be a similar platform to help brands and businesses grow the events scene in Singapore.

For this initiative to work, the presence of security is important in maintaining order in the area, however, he added.

Kenneth Lee, senior manager for social strategy at branding firm Consulus said that the remake would definitely be a draw for events.

“Besides creating more foot fall into the area, it also helps build up “brand Singapore.” This can only be positive for businesses and consumers”, said Victoria McKellar, business development director for Landor.