Weaker demand for hotels in city area as NDP returns to National Stadium

As this year’s National Day Parade (NDP) will return to the National Stadium for the first time in 10 years, hotels in the city area have taken a hit with slower booking rates around the Aug 9 public holiday, and some of them are also charging a lower premium for rooms compared to previous years.

For the past 10 years, Marina Mandarin Singapore had been able to expect full occupancy on National Day as people would want to get a good view of the spectacular fireworks in the comfort of a hotel room. But with the NDP moving from the Marina Bay area to the new National Stadium this year, the hotel, which has 575 rooms, is only expecting occupancy to hit 90 per cent.

“This is the first time in 10 years we do not expect full occupancy for the hotel,” said the hotel’s spokesperson Patricia Yong.

“This year is quieter; demand is not as much due to the location of the celebration. Previous years we do see the take up as early as nine months in advance but for this year, surprisingly, inquiries were only coming in like two to three weeks back,” she added.

With weaker demand, comes lower prices. A one-night stay at Marina Mandarin starts from S$250, 80 per cent lower than last year. Pan Pacific Singapore, another hotel which is not expecting full occupancy on National Day, is charging a minimum of S$420 per night, S$20 cheaper than last year.

The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia has also noticed a slower pace of bookings this year. Director of Public Relations and Marketing Communications, Nathalyn Fong said it could be due to the parade’s location and this year’s National Day falling on a Tuesday instead of on a weekend.

“I think people are not really familiar with the views of the parade and the fireworks. There are also no fringe activities happening on the floating platform,” said Ms Fong. She added that the hotel is still expecting full occupancy on National Day with most of the bookings made by foreigners.

HOTELS WITH VIEWS OF THE FIREWORKS STILL SEE STRONG DEMAND

This year’s NDP will have both indoor and outdoor fireworks, and for hotels such as Conrad Centennial Singapore, which is located just across Kallang River and which has views that take in the National Stadium, it is still seeing strong demand for its rooms.

“The hotel has witnessed similar levels of booking in the past years, with higher demand on the preview dates and on National Day itself,” said the hotel’s spokesperson. A one-night stay at their fireworks-facing room costs a minimum of S$475.

PARKROYAL on Beach Road, which is just a stone’s throw away from the National Stadium, has also seen an increase in the number of enquiries, said the hotel’s general manager, David Donald, but he added that the rooms are being snapped up at a slower pace compared to last year.

Ms Sally Tan, whose family spent about S$2,000 last year to catch the fireworks display from Swissotel The Stamford, said the experience was phenomenal but would give it a miss this year.

“The fireworks at this year’s NDP will not be as spectacular as last year’s SG50. My family and I would probably go to the open space just beside the National Stadium to enjoy the fireworks. It’s cheaper,” said the 56-year-old administrative assistant.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 19 Jul 2016