Friday, May 8, 2009

New hotel opens in Clarke Quay

It banks on area's popularity and lack of hotels there even as tourist arrivals are falling

AGAINST a backdrop of declining numbers of tourists to Singapore, another hotel, the Park Hotel Clarke Quay, has opened this month.

Like many others braving the downturn, the brand new 336-room four-star hotel in Unity Street is dangling a special package with freebies.

Guests who book between now and Aug 31 will get, for $198 and upwards, a room with free Internet access, free breakfast and lunch, free non-alcoholic mini-bar drinks and a free river taxi ride, on top of discounts on laundry, drinks and food.

Those who pay $238 and upwards for a Park Privilege Club room will also get free afternoon tea and evening cocktails, free use of the Club Lounge facilities and free laundry services.

Many hotels have rolled out similar promotions. Far East Organization's boutique hotel Quincy opened in March with a $208 flat rate (excluding taxes) covering all its services, such as three meals, Internet access and limousine pick-up from the airport.

The offers are a sign of how anxious hotels are for their share of a shrinking pie. In March, visitor arrivals fell for the 10th straight month compared with the same period last year.

The downward trend forced hotels to slash their average room rate to $196 in March. It marked the first time in nearly two years that the average room rate has dropped below $200.

But the Park Hotel Group remains optimistic. Based on the 'strong' booking response from leisure and business travellers, its director Allen Law forecasts 80 per cent occupancy by August. The average hotel occupancy was 74 per cent in March.

He said: 'Clarke Quay is an area which a lot of tourists want to visit, and there are not many hotels there. We think we've hit a good market segment.'

Source: Straits Times, 8 May 2009

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