S'pore room rates down 9 per cent last year: Hotels.com

S'pore room rates down 9 per cent last year: Hotels.com

Singapore - Hotel rates in Singapore fell 9 per cent last year on the back of geopolitical tensions and a series of aviation incidents, signifying more affordable holidays for travellers to the Republic.

This is according to the most recent Hotels.com Hotel Price Index (HPI), which measures hotel room rates based on bookings made on the online accommodation booking website. The HPI tracks the actual prices paid per hotel room rather than their advertised rates.

On the whole, hotel rates around the world were higher, with the average price paid for a hotel room rising 3 per cent year-on-year in 2014. This was thanks to greater momentum in overall economic recovery and higher consumer confidence in travel spending.

The rise in room rates saw the global HPI stand at 113 in 2014, an increase of 13 points since its debut in 2004. However, the figure remains lower than its peak of 117 in 2007 prior to the global financial crisis.

Of the regions covered by the HPI - namely, North America, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific - Asia was the only one to experience a fall in the index.

Average room rates paid by international travellers for a night's stay in Singapore fell 9 per cent between 2013 and 2014 to S$239, mainly due to weak tourist demand for hotel rooms.

"The popularity of Singapore as a stopover point makes it highly susceptible to any changes within the region," said Katherine Cole, regional director of the Hotels. com brand.

"Demand for hotels here fell last year as travellers sought alternative destinations during the period of Thailand's martial law, and also as the number of Chinese visitors to the country dropped."

Notwithstanding its reputation for being one of the more expensive cities in Asia, Singapore may become a more affordable tourist destination for global travellers in view of the lower hotel room prices.

Away from local shores, falling room prices in Asia are welcome news for Singaporeans as well. A stronger Singapore dollar last year lowered prices in 10 out of 15 Asian destinations, including Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Malaysia.

In contrast, average hotel room rates in Japan and Macau saw a 5 per cent increase, while rates in China rose 3 per cent. Meanwhile, rates in the Philippines went up by 2 per cent.

Cambodia, the most affordable tourist destination for Singapore travellers, saw a one per cent rise in average hotel prices.

"The latest findings reinforce Asia's position as the leader of best value destinations worldwide for the third year running," said Ms Cole. "This certainly aids in fuelling and catering to the rising demand for luxury-for-less travel."

This article was first published on March 4, 2015.
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