COMING OUT ON TOP
Strong Singapore dollar coupled with a weakening global economy were among the key matters that were predicted to hamper the country’s tourism sector in 2016. It was said that as our dollar remains strong against regional currencies, tourists may be discouraged to increase their spending while they’re here, if not deterring them from coming at all. The forecast seemed to ring true, with a glut of hotel rooms sending key revenue measures (by the hotel industry) to a six-year low. Despite a 10.3 per cent rise in visitor arrivals in the first eight months of 2016 (compared to the same period last year), statistics from the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) showed a decline of 2.9 per cent in standard average hotel room rates, and a fall of 2.7 per cent in revenues per available room.
A Zika outbreak later in the year only served to aggravate the matter.
However, it was not all doom and gloom for everyone in the business of hospitality in Singapore. A rising number of arrivals by Chinese visitors was observed, thanks to our casinos and China’s boom in outbound tourism, and the trend is expected to grow steadily in the coming years. The local Food and Beverage (F&B) scene has also helped recover Singapore’s overall economic growth, contributing a bulk to the nation’s GDP.
While experts are still not overly enthusiastic for what 2017 holds for Singapore’s tourism sector, citing global economic and political uncertainties and competition from regional neighbours as possible causes, HRD reckons that businesses in the industry should not be too despondent. As sounded by Minister for Trade and Industry S Iswaran when announcing the Hotel Industry Transformation Map in November last year, the hotel industry needs to transform to meet customer expectations that are becoming more sophisticated, otherwise “achieving the same growth as in the past will be increasingly difficult”.
Which is why we bring you the 12th edition of Hospitality Resource Directory — we believe that arming your business with the right lineup of suppliers, distributor and services is crucial for development and sustainability. Curating the broadest selection of resources is still at the forefront with you, and we hope that you enjoy and reap the benefits of this issue.