Commentary: With travel down and SHN eased, Singapore hotels need a Plan B

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s tourism sector has gone through a tough two-year period due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Airlines, especially Singapore Airlines, which has no domestic traffic, and Changi Airport suffered a sharp drop in demand, after a record year in 2019.

In the hotel industry, occupancy rates and hotel room revenue remained at all-time lows.

For example, in September this year, the best month for the Singapore hotel industry of the year, room revenue was S$75.9 million, compared to S$375.9 million in September 2019. Revenue per available room was S$100, half the corresponding figure in 2019.

Crowd-drawing events like the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix night, which usually takes place in September each year, are packed.

A few, like the new Bloomberg Economic Forum in November, are beginning to bring some life back to hotels, but they’re only an iota of pre-pandemic travel.

brave front

Despite the two difficult years and the ongoing challenges posed by the new variables of the coronavirus, the industry is putting up a brave front.

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