S’pore hotels see strong bookings this holiday season

As the countdown begins to Christmas Day and the New Year, hotels here are riding on the mood to celebrate.

They’re enjoying an increase of between five and 30 per cent in occupancy, compared with last year.

It’s still early and quiet on the hotel front, but the action will pick up when the party begins, as locals and foreigners head for the hotels to wind down and celebrate.

Those in Marina Bay and Sentosa said occupancy rates have increased by as much as 30 per cent.

A few are running on full capacity from Christmas Day to the middle of January, due to an increase in the number of tourists, as well as locals who prefer to take what’s called “staycations”.

Ernawati Setijo, director of marketing communications at Marina Mandarin Singapore, said: “We see about 5 per cent increase year-on-year and as for the average room rate in 2011, we are posting a positive increase of 10 per cent as compared to 2010.

While economists polled by the Monetary Authority of Singapore in November this year predicted slower growth in hotel and restaurant sectors next year, some hoteliers are upbeat.

Robert Lagerwey, general manager of Capella, said: “We are extremely fortunate with the current trend of staycations where a lot of people choose to actually stay in Singapore… That is a big bulk of our business.”

Hotels believe they can continue to ride on the strong occupancy rates, as well as the growth of 5.9 per cent in the hotel and restaurant sector this year.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 21 Dec 2011

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