Hotels Bank On Contactless Tech To Entice Guests During Coronavirus Pandemic
Singapore Business Review|April-Jun 2020
Firms are installing self check-in kiosks, chatbots, direct booking applications, and digital in-room dining services.

The hospitality sector continues to be amongst the worst-hit industries in the coronavirus pandemic, as border restrictions persist in Singapore and throughout the world. The Singapore Tourism Board’s (STB) latest figures reveal that hotels’ average occupancy rate crashed 32.1 percentage points (ppt) MoM in February 2020, from 83.1% in January. On a YoY basis, occupancy rate has taken a 37.5 ppt nosedive from 88.5% in February 2019. Aiming to attract guests as soon as restrictions have lifted, hotel operators are likely to promote their contactless technologies, such as facial recognition verification during customer check-in and out.

In this year’s issue of Singapore Business Review’s Largest Hotel Rankings Survey, Marina Bay Sands has maintained its lead with more than 2,500 rooms. Hotel Boss remains in second spot with 1,500 rooms, whilst Swissôtel The Stamford comes in third with 1,252 rooms. Rounding up the top five are Mandarin Orchard Singapore and Carlton Hotel Singapore with 1,077 and 940 guest rooms available respectively.

The 58 largest hotels in SBR’s list house 31,336 rooms, compared to 30,600 rooms in 2019. The rankings include newly launched hotels, such as Village Hotel Sentosa (606 rooms) and Oasia Hotel Downtown (314 rooms).

Overall, the STB noted that room revenues fell to 40% in February as hotels remain half-filled. The average room rate saw a 2.3% YoY drop at $230, with revenue per room (RevPaR) sliding 41% YoY down to $117 per night.

Large hotels suffered the most, STB noted, occupancy rates crashing 39.5 ppt YoY to 51.4% and RevPaR plunging 42.7% YoY to $125. Medium-sized hotels were moderately hit in comparison, dropping by 35.4 ppt in occupancy rate to 52.1%, and their RevPaR also fell 36.3% to $114.

As for small hotels, even while they were the least impacted, they still saw occupancy rates dip by 26.6 ppt YoY to 46.2% over the same period. RevPaR for these hotels also slipped by 30% YoY to $71.

Pandemic won’t topple hotels

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