Hotels in Singapore are experiencing a decline in event bookings and room stays as companies are choosing to meet in more affordable locations.
This is a result of Singapore’s high price point compounded with competition from neighbouring cities, JW Marriott Singapore South Beach's sales manager, Phyllis Pereira, told TTGmice, when interviewed at the Marriott Global Sales Mission in Singapore.
JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach's Grand Ballroom
A sales manager with a hotel on Orchard Road who has requested anonymity, concurred, adding that top rival cities are Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur, where the weaker currencies make these destinations more attractive and affordable for companies.
For instance, the manager revealed that flying over to Bangkok would save companies a value worth two nights in Singapore even with flights and hotel costs thrown in.
Hotels along the Orchard Road belt are also feeling the effects of being eclipsed by properties in the Marina Bay district.
The manager lamented: “It’s been a long time since (we’ve) seen any promotion for Orchard Road… The marketing is very strong for the Marina area, such that people don’t mind paying a higher rate to stay at Marina Bay even for one night, and then go to a lower-tier hotel for the rest of their stay. It’s very hard for us to beat.”
However, CWT Meetings & Events' sourcing specialist Cyril Constantino told TTGmice that although exchange rates are boosting the popularity of other countries, Singapore remains a strong choice for its safety, clean environment and identity as a regional hub.
Regardless, hotels are looking for ways to forge ahead. JW Marriott Singapore South Beach, for example, is capitalising on its location within a conservation enclave.
Pereira said: “We have four heritage buildings on site, and the hotel occupies three. Our grand ballroom is in a heritage building… It has a huge dome and high ceiling (that creates) a church-like feeling… I’ve had a lot of clients who come to take a look at the venue.”