Tuesday, July 22, 2008

S'pore Hotel Occupancy Eases But Room Rates For Top Hotels Are Up

Source : The Straits Times, July 22, 2008

ROOM rates for top-tier hotels in Singapore are still rising even as occupancy rates are easing off.

Figures released by hotel investment services firm Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels on Tuesday showed that the average daily rate for five-star hotels in May went up by 20 per cent to $331 over last year.

Four-star hotels have seen similar healthy increases, with the rate growing by 26 per cent to reach $234.

But occupancy rates, which enjoyed small increases last year, are starting to slide. It has gone down by 4 per cent for five-star hotels and 1.6 per cent for four-star places. They now stand at 77.4 per cent and 84 per cent respectively.

While it may stoke concerns about Singapore becoming too expensive for tourists, executive vice-president for Jones Lang Lasalle Hotels, Ms Chee Hok Yean, was quick to reassure that the tourism outlook here still remains positive.

She cited recent research by the Pacific Asia Travel Association which predicted that Singapore will hit 10.9 million visitor arrivals this year, surpassing the Singapore Tourism Board's target of 10.8 million.

Ms Chee added that the booming mid- and lower-tier hotel market will ensure that demand for cheaper rooms can be met.

Jones also revealed healthy growth figures for the regional hotel industry. It estimates that 140,000 rooms will come on-stream in major Southeast Asian cities in the next three years, a 25 per cent jump over the current supply.

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