Singapore hotels expect strong bookings for corporate events next year

Corporate events bookings at Singapore hotels have increased this holiday season and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) says the outlook for next year is also positive despite the economic slowdown.

In Singapore, hotels are adorned in Christmas livery and preparations for year-end festivities are in full-swing.

Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) bookings have had a strong showing so far.

A survey of hotels in Singapore have shown that corporate bookings for the year 2011 have actually increased despite the global economic uncertainty and they are seeing healthy demand from both locals and overseas companies across a broad range of industries.

Figures gathered by Channel NewsAsia show growth in corporate bookings ranging from 12 to 50 percent compared to last year.

Colin Wang, General Manager, Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, said: “2011 has been a good year for most businesses. I think you know it’s only right that companies are still spending to thank some of their clients. So we’re still seeing a lot of dinner and dance (D&D) still to come. In fact for December, the numbers are looking good, with combination of weddings and D&Ds. But of course, businesses will continue to ask for the usual value-added. We’ve just got to be a bit more creative in packaging things with a good proposition.”

Elaine Kum, Director of Marketing, Marriott Singapore, said: “If they need to organise meetings in a hotel, they will go ahead with that. If they have a budget, they’ll probably need to select a different category of hotel to match their budget.”

According to STB figures, business travellers on the average form about a third of visitor arrivals to Singapore and contribute more than 30 percent of tourist spending.

The STB says the outlook for corporate MICE bookings in 2012 remains optimistic, with demand from Asia to remain strong.

With the Singapore Airshow and International Furniture Fair among the numerous events lined up for 2012, hoteliers are ‘lighting up’ in anticipation.

Colin Wang said: “Growth forecast is expected to be targeting 5 to 10 percent for 2012…We have to be fairly cautious at this stage. Even years tend to be a good years for the hospitality sector with the Airshow and the number of conventions happening in the city. But we just have to be cautious given that Singapore is small and we’re not that weather-proof when it comes to a recession.”

And even as the global economic outlook continues to remain bleak, the corporate eyes are still set on ringing in a glittery new year.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 13 Dec 2011

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