Singapore hoteliers turn to staycations to beat slump

Hotels in Singapore are leaning on the local penchant for staycations to keep business in the black, making up for the dive in tourist occupancy levels as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak.

Several properties have rolled out promotions to entice Singaporeans and residents who are itching for a weekend getaway, especially as the March school holidays swing in from March 14-22.

Royal Plaza On Scotts among the many hotels in Singapore offering special staycation rates

For instance, Far East Hospitality is offering up to 50 per cent off its room rates in an “ongoing 2020 Super Sale”.

As well, One Farrer Hotel in March unveiled a “Home Truly Package” for Singapore citizens and permanent residents that includes a one-night stay in an Urban Room, a complimentary buffet breakfast for two adults and one child, as well as complimentary parking for one vehicle.

In January, Parkroyal Collection Pickering launched a year-long “Green City Life staycation offer” for its Superior or Deluxe Rooms that includes S$30 (US$21) dining credit for Lime Restaurant’s plant-based menu, 20 per cent savings on spa treatments, and other perks.

Arthur Kiong, CEO of Far East Hospitality (FEH), shared: “In every crisis, there is bound to be an opportunity. In this case, we see that the staycation segment has the potential to grow during this time.

“As Singaporeans are thinking twice about travelling overseas during the outbreak, staycations have become even more attractive, especially during the upcoming school holiday. This provides an opportunity for hospitality players to focus more on cultivating the domestic market.”

Kiong explained that the staycation segment is subdivided into different interests that brands can appeal to, such as wellness-conscious guests; arts, culture and heritage aficionados; as well as those in search of an adults-only getaway.

He added that instead of “going into a price war”, FEH is rolling out promotions that “provide value-added” service and “unique, engaging experiences” beyond the standard bed and breakfast.

For example, Oasia Hotel Downtown is targeting the wellness-focused demographic with the “O’ What a Weekend” package with additional perks such as high-tea and a complimentary fitness class.

“When creating these packages, we work with local tour operators and attractions to provide staycationers with different experiences. These might help them see Singapore in a new light too,” expressed Kiong.

In a recent statement, GlobalData predicted that the staycation segment could be a “winner” in the Covid-19 outbreak.

Nick Wyatt, head of R&A, travel & tourism at GlobalData, stated: “People will still want to go on holiday. However, they are going to start to revert to ‘safety first’.

“Staycations are likely to make travellers feel more comfortable as they are familiar with the location and they can potentially avoid flying. They know the health service and health structure, as well as other benefits of staying within your own country such as reduced travel time and no language barrier.”

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