HOW much are people willing to pay to stay in a famous hotel and watch a Formula 1 car race? The revenue management team at Raffles Hotel, Singapore, reckons the answer is an astomishing S$3531 for a Palm Court Suite including breakfast. That’s the rate it is asking this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The room normally sells for $784. According to Wotif, the next highest price being charged over this period is S$1119 for a room at the Pan Pacific while S$1118 is the asking price at the InterContinental and Swissotel The Stamford. The race itself is under the spotlight for all the wrong reasons with driver Nelson Piquet alleging he deliberately crashed during the 2008 event under instructions from Renault boss Flavio Briatore, who has quit.
LATEST stats from STR Global show that the Australian accommodation market held up reasonably well for the year to July 31. The average occupancy rate in major markets was 71.4%, down 4.9% over the previous 12 month period, while revenue per available room (RevPAR) was down by a similar margin to $165. Perth was the strongest market, Cairns the weakest. However, it’s important to note that rate performance really began falling away at the back end of this period. During July, for example, the average daily rate was $158 (down 8%) while RevPAR slumped 13% to $114.
SIGNIFICANT performance variations have emerged in Asia Pacific’s most important hotel markets where rates are being slashed to prop up sliding occupancies. According to the latest STR Global statistics, the biggest occupancy drop in July was recorded in Japan at, contextually speaking, a relatively modest 7.6% compared with 2008. India was also off by a similar amount. But it’s when RevPAR is examined that the real story emerges. RevPAR fell 23.6% in Singapore, 25.5% in India and 18% in China. Australia fared best with a 5.3% fall in occupancy and 13% drop in RevPAR. It seems that the rate of decline has slowed. “Asia showed slight signs of improvement in July, with many markets falling less than the previous month,” said James Chappell, Managing Director of STR Global. More