Singapore hotels’ average room rate, revenues mark new highs in September

REVERSING from a dip in August, Singapore hotels average room rate (ARR) reached S$284.37 in September – the highest since 14 years ago, when September 2008’s ARR came in at S$298.65. Overall hotel room revenue and revenue per available room (RevPAR) also grew in September to hit new highs.

The latest data from the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) on Friday (Oct 28) showed that ARR jumped 82.7 per cent on the year. On the month, it was up 14.1 per cent from August’s revised rate of S$249.16.

“Hotel outperformance in September was driven by the F1 Singapore Grand Prix event, which saw a record turnout, after a two-year hiatus,” said Cushman and Wakefield head of research Wong Xian Yang, noting that September 2008 was when the F1 night race made its debut in Singapore.

Overall, hotel room revenues surged to S$390.8 million for the month, surpassing August 2019’s S$383.4 million to mark a new high. It was also more than five times the level recorded in the corresponding period a year ago. On the month, it was up 24.6 per cent (from S$313.6 million).

The gains came as tourist arrivals climbed to 778,141 in September, recording eight straight months of growth and the highest levels since the pandemic started.

RevPAR also set a new high at S$236.52, beating February 2014’s RevPAR of S$225.89. On the year, it more than doubled; on the month, it was up 22.1 per cent.

At 83.2 per cent, September’s average occupancy rates came in higher than August’s 77.7 per cent print. The latest reading also marginally exceeded the pre-pandemic rate of about 83 per cent clocked in December 2019 and January 2020.

Gains were seen across all hotel categories in September, with ARRs of S$147.03 in the economy segment, S$233.41 in the mid-tier segment, S$338.54 in the upscale segment and S$554.69 in the luxury segment.

Wong expects that October could still provide a fairly strong performance, given that some visitors could continue to stay in Singapore post-race.

Year to date, overall room revenue was S$2.1 billion, higher than the amount earned for the whole of 2020 (S$1.23 billion) and the whole of 2021 (S$965.3 million).

For the first nine months of the year, ARR reached S$233.96, up 54.6 per cent compared to the first nine months of 2021. RevPAR was up 114.6 per cent for the period to S$169.74, STB data showed. Average occupancy rate was up 20.3 per cent from the same period last year to 72.6 per cent.

Despite anticipated falls in performance indicators following September’s outperformance, Wong still expects a “steady” recovery of tourist arrivals towards pre-pandemic levels, given travel restrictions in China and economic uncertainty.