Marina Bay Sands will present opportunities to hotels in the area: industry players

Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands integrated resort will add more hotel rooms in the downtown area currently home to at least nine hotel chains. But the existing players see opportunities from the new kid on the block rather than threats.

The tower blocks are now prominent landmarks in downtown Marina Bay. Hotels in the vicinity are watching the anticipated opening of Marina Bay Sands more with excitement than concern.

When fully completed, Marina Bay Sands will have some 2,500 rooms and travel agents said they expect about 900 to 1,000 rooms to be available when the resort opens at the end of the month.

Competition aside, Fairmont Singapore said it can tap on opportunities created by Marina Bay Sands’ 1.2 million square feet of meeting and convention space.

Pan Pacific Singapore said even with rising room inventory, more tourist arrivals will soak up the demand.

According to the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), tourist arrivals rose 24.2 per cent on-year in February to 857,000 visitors.

Ivan Lee, general manager, Pan Pacific Singapore, said: “With Marina Bay Sands in front of us, the added features and availability of attractions within the vicinity has increased so we are able to market ourselves in a very attractive location.”

Travel agents said near-term room demand is strong partly due to the economic recovery.

Room rates rose 15 to 30 per cent on year in the first quarter.

Observers don’t expect a price war on rates even with Marina Bay Sands.

Alicia Seah, senior vice president, Marketing & PR, CTC Holidays, said: “With Marina Bay Sands opening, we understand that their rates will range from about S$420 per room night, attracting more high end leisure and business travellers. Comparatively, the hotels around the Marina Bay area are charging maybe 20 to 30 per cent lower ranging from S$320 to S$360 per room night.”

Events like the Formula One race and Youth Olympics are expected to keep occupancy rates above 80 per cent.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 12 Apr 2010

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