S’pore hotels see best month in years amid HK unrest, Latest Business News - The New Paper

S’pore hotels see best month in years amid HK unrest

This article is more than 12 months old

Singapore's hotel occupancy rates have climbed to their highest in over a decade as travellers and business events switched from Hong Kong, where pro-democracy protests have hit tourist numbers.

Data released on Monday by the Singapore Tourism Board showed average occupancy rates in the city-state's hotels hit 93.8 per cent in July, the highest in records going back to 2005, and up from 92.5 per cent a year ago.

The data also showed the highest revenue per room in almost four years, a trend analysts and hoteliers said was helped by conferences switching from rival business hub Hong Kong as protests that started in mid-June turned more violent.

"Singapore may benefit twice as much from the Hong Kong fallout as both these destinations share similar traits," said Mr Derek Tan, an analyst at Singapore's biggest bank DBS, citing businesses switching conference venues from Hong Kong.

The Global Wellness Summit, a gathering of around 600 health and beauty industry delegates scheduled for mid-October, recently said it was moving to Singapore from Hong Kong.

The event's spokesman said this was "to ensure travel is as seamless as possible".

Mr Marcus Hanna, general manager of Singapore hotels Fairmont Singapore and Swissotel The Stamford, said he had a 60-strong business group last month switch from Hong Kong for a five-night stay.

Mr Hanna said his hotels, which offer conference and meeting facilities, have received a number of inquiries from companies looking to move events out of Hong Kong.

Jefferies analyst Krishna Guha said events in Hong Kong would have been a factor in lifting Singapore's hospitality sector.

Revenue per available room, a key performance metric for the hotel industry, rose to $203.7 in July, its highest since October 2015, from $200.2 in the same month last year. - REUTERS