THIS year's Singapore Grand Prix drew about 40,000 visitors from all over the world, according to preliminary estimates.

The number matches the inaugural F1 race here in 2008, said Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang in a written reply to questions from West Coast GRC MP Ho Geok Choo in Parliament on Monday.

Beyond the visitors, Mr Lim said the Formula One race has helped to brand Singapore as a premier lifestyle destination to a global audience.

He added that it has also given Singapore good international exposure, and it continues to enjoy strong support locally and internationally.

Elaborating on the Singapore F1 spinoffs, Mr Lim said: 'With the influx of international visitors, tourism-related businesses have benefitted from the F1.

In particular, many hotels reported significantly higher occupancy rates of over 90 per cent whilst charging a premium for rooms over the F1 weekend.'

He cited the Singapore Exchange which organised a conference at the sidelines of the race to bring together potential investors in the Asian motorsports industry as an example that the event had provided a networking platform for businesses.

S'pore F1 draws 40,000