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Singapore hotels see best month in years amid Hong Kong turmoil

Reuters|
Occupancy rates highest since 2005
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Occupancy rates highest since 2005

Singapore's hotel occupancy rates have climbed to their highest in over a decade as travellers and business events switched from Hong Kong, where pro-democracy protests have slammed tourist numbers and wider business sentiment. Data released on Monday by Singapore's tourism board showed average occupancy rates in the city-state's hotels hit 93.8% in July, the highest in records going back to 2005, and up from 92.5% a year ago.

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Switching of venues
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Switching of venues

The data also showed the highest revenue per room in almost four years, a trend analysts and hoteliers said was helped by conferences switching from rival business hub Hong Kong as protests that started in mid-June turned increasingly violent. "Singapore may benefit twice as much from the Hong Kong fallout as both these destinations share similar traits," said Derek Tan, an analyst at Singapore's biggest bank DBS, citing businesses switching conference venues from Hong Kong.

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Turmoils in HK shifts biz to Singapore
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Turmoils in HK shifts biz to Singapore

The Global Wellness Summit, a gathering of around 600 health and beauty industry delegates scheduled for mid-October recently said it was moving to Singapore from Hong Kong. The event's spokeswoman said this was "to ensure travel is as seamless as possible." Marcus Hanna, general manager of Singapore hotels, Fairmont Singapore and Swissotel The Stamford, said he had a 60-strong business group last month switch from Hong Kong for a five-night stay. Hanna said his hotels, which offer conference and meeting facilities, have received a number of inquiries from companies looking to move events out of Hong Kong amid the unrest.

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