Skyrocketing hotel prices during F1 driving away tourists: Singapore travel agents


(eTN) – Singapore tourism may have unwittingly become the victim of its own success following its marketing hype of the first F1 night race to be held from September 26-29.

Rooms at “ringside seat ” hotels, from 3-star upwards, are being quoted at an all-time high, in addition to a 20 percent parking tax (CESS), which will be imposed on hotels near the racing circuit. The rates as going up “as fast as the cars are burning up the tracks,” channelnewsasia reported.

“It will be the highest ever seen in Singapore, pegging their price at an unrealistic level,” said Robert Khoo, CEO of the National Association of Travel Agents Singapore. “Despite the acute shortage of rooms, hotels should raise their rates gradually. In the long run it might deter travelers from visiting Singapore altogether.”

“I hope they can do some adjustment to the actual booking situation,” added Khoo.

Hotel rooms at top name hotels commanding a panoramic view of the event are being quoted for up to app. US$9,500 a night. A penthouse suite at one of the top hotels is requiring a minimum of a five-day stay.

Most top name hotels along the circuit are quoting rooms rates about 3-5 times the normal rates, excluding the 30 percent government levy on trackside hotels.

Hotels in Singapore’s Chinatown, along Victoria, Bugis and Bencoolen streets are “packaging” room rates by between 130 to 160 percent ($650) above normal rates
($250) a night, excluding taxes, for a minimum of three nights stay.

The cheapest room rates are being quoted at 202 percent ($330) above normal rates of around $110, excluding taxes.

According to Khoo, hotels have a tendency to keep rates high, then lowering them at the last moment to travel agents. “But sometimes it is too late. We can’t utilize these rooms. It’s a waste, actually.”

Organizers of the Singapore F1 are expecting about 90,000 die-hard fans from the region to flood into the island state, pushing its average room occupancy rate from 70 to 90 percent.