Hotels undergo facelifts in spite of STB’s conservative targets

The Singapore Tourism Board has conservatively projected S$24 billion in tourism receipts and some 14.5 million visitors for 2012.

This mirrors the World Tourism Organisation’s sentiment that international tourism is set to grow at a slower rate.

Despite this, it has not stopped hotels here from embarking on refurbishment works to draw more guests.

Pan Pacific Singapore started off an extensive S$80 million facelift in mid-April. It is claimed to be the largest transformation in the 25-year history of the hotel.

Its guest rooms, restaurant and lobby will undergo a major transformation. The hotel is expected to re-open its doors to the public in September.

Pan Pacific Orchard, which stands right in the heart of Singapore’s shopping belt, will see more than half of its rooms undergo a major overhaul.

Other projects in the pipeline include the Pan Pacific Serviced Suites in Beach Road next year, following the successful launch of the similar concept at Orchard.

Despite the uncertainty in the global economy, Pan Pacific Singapore believes its Asian clientele will remain resilient.

Patrick Imbardelli, president & CEO, Pan Pacific Hotels Group, said: “What we find is that the biggest growth market is definitely Asia. That’s not just mainland China… but Indonesia, increasingly the middle class – they are travelling a lot more, (and the) Vietnamese are also travelling a lot more. Asians are travelling within Asia but they are also visiting our hotels elsewhere be it North America, Japan, China or Australia.”

Singapore Marriott Hotel which underwent a S$35 million overhaul in April also shared this sentiment.

Anthony Page, general manager, Singapore Marriott Hotel, said: “Our visitation (is) 76 per cent from Asia and that’s not just leisure but business travel. We’re seeing a huge increase in business travel from Thailand into Singapore, the Middle East and the emerging markets for leisure is also strong. This year may not have a larger percentage growth as 2011 but (it is) a reasonably strong year.”

This is also the most extensive project of its kind in the hotel’s 17-year history. All of the Singapore Marriott Hotel’s guest rooms are renovated to offer guests more efficient use of space with newly installed bathrooms and furniture.

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