APPD Market Report Article
SingaporeNovember 29, 2022
Mike Batchelor, CEO - Hotels & Hospitality Group, Asia Pacific
Travel demand continues to show robust growth
- Singapore welcomed 2.2 million international arrivals in Q3, more than twice the number in 1H22, after the city-state reopened its borders in April 2022. Countries in the region such as Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia have also lifted their remaining travel restrictions, boosting overall tourism growth in Asia Pacific. Corporate travel continues to lead the demand in Singapore.
- As mainland China remains closed, there was a shift in Singapore’s source markets in Q3. As at YTD September 2022, Indonesia is the biggest source market, accounting for 17.2% of international arrivals, followed by India (12.5%), Malaysia (8.9%), Australia (8.5%) and Vietnam (6.0%). Arrivals to Changi Airport have reached over 50% of pre-pandemic levels, highlighting the strong rebound in tourism.
Supply growth remains muted, with no new completion in Q3
- No new hotel entered the market in Q3 2022. In the first nine months of 2022, a total of 1,641 rooms opened in Singapore. All of those are reopening / rebranding projects, including Hilton Singapore Orchard, voco Orchard Singapore and the Maxwell Reserve, Autograph Collection. In September, the 134-key SO/ Singapore was rebranded to Hotel Telegraph, following the acquisition of the hotel in May.
- For the rest of 2022, 889 rooms are expected to enter the market. As a result, supply is expected to grow by 0.1% y-o-y in 2022. Major hotels expected to reopen in 2023 include the 440-room Regent Singapore, rebranded to Conrad Singapore Orchard, and the 677-key Grand Hyatt Singapore that is expected to reopen in phases from the second half of 2023.
RevPAR ramps up due to strong ADR and lifting of occupancy cap
- As the Ministry Of Manpower has increased the quota for foreign labour, hotels are able to hire more staff to cope with the rising demand. As a result, hotels removed their occupancy cap in September. Demand was also enhanced by F1, which had returned after two years. Occupancy for luxury hotels increased by 11 percentage points to 69.6% in September, from 58.4% in August.
- With the removal of the occupancy cap, hotels are able to perform better as international tourists return. Anecdotal evidence suggested that corporate demand was still the key driver for the growth in room rates, together with the F1 race. Reports have indicated that hotels in Singapore were able to record even higher rates during F1 in 2022 compared to 2019, with rates increasing from 40% to 70%.
Outlook: Industry to remain optimistic for 2023 as recovery continues
- In July, the Government has projected Singapore to welcome 4 to 6 million visitors in 2022. Considering the latest numbers recorded in the first nine months, the number of international visitors this year should be on the higher end of the projection. Tourism receipts are expected to reach between SGD 10 billion and SGD 20 billion, which is 40% of 2019, despite a lack of Chinese tourists.
- Most hotels expect to have better revenue in 2023 than in 2019, especially for luxury hotels which can continue to drive growth in the ADR. The industry expects occupancy for 2023 to be 10 to 15 ppts behind that of 2019, as demand has not fully recovered, in both the region as well as globally. However, profits may still be affected as costs of labour, utilities and food continue to rise.