Brisk business for hotels in 2010

Singapore has seen a record number of visitors this year, and hotels have said that business is almost at pre-crisis levels in 2008.

It has been a good year for Royal Plaza on Scotts, and it is not afraid to show it, with elaborate Christmas decorations at the hotel’s lobby and facade.

Patrick Fiat, General Manager of Royal Plaza on Scotts, said: “Occupancy and rate was very good, and we’ve won quite several awards this year, and we’ve spent, I believe, three times more than last year, up to $100,000 to decorate the lobby as well as the hotel during the festive season to celebrate all these achievements.”

Last year, occupancy had dropped and the hotel had to slash room rates as well. Even though room rates are lower than what it was in 2008, the hotel said occupancy has bounced back to hit 87 per cent this year, up from 75 per cent in 2009.

Another hotel in the area, Mandarin Orchard, said its business performance this year has already exceeded pre-crisis levels in 2008 by 30 per cent.

“Our hotel occupancy was in the high 90s in October and November which was mainly contributed by the pick up in corporate travel following the recovery of the economy. We also enjoyed similar occupancies in the high 90s in May, June and July during the Great Singapore Sale,” said John Sartain, General Manager at Mandarin Orchard.

It is also good news for hotels at the Marina Bay area, like Conrad Centennial, the Fairmont and Marina Mandarin.

While Marina Mandarin had a good year in 2008, the hotel had to reduce room prices to keep occupancy at the same level last year. And this year occupancy is at 85 per cent, 10 per cent more than last year.

This has been attributed to the strong economic recovery and a slew of international events like the Youth Olympic Games and Formula One.

Hotels said the good business is also partly due to two new players, which have been bringing in more tourists.

Ernawati Stijo, Director of Marketing Communications at Marina Mandarin Singapore, said: “The opening of both IRs and their new attractions have definitely brought about positive impact to the hospitality and the tourism landscape in Singapore.

“What we have noticed is that the visitors tend to stay longer because nowadays they have more attractions to visit and to experience, and us being in the Marina Bay area, we have actually enjoyed the spillover business.”

Mr Fiat agreed and said the IRs have boosted occupancy, especially during the weekends.

“The IR resorts were a blessing for us…over the weekend, the occupancy used to drop, but now, it’s more or less the same occupancy during the weekdays and weekends. And Orchard Road is still very popular with the visitors, especially during the weekend.”

Hotels Channel NewsAsia spoke to said they are relatively optimistic next year would be an even better one.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 25 Dec 2010

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