Friday, June 20, 2008

"Formula One hotel booking still sluggish"

June 19, 2008
Formula One hotel booking still sluggish
SINGAPORE plays host to the first ever Formula One Grand Prix night race in just three months, but hotel rooms are not filling up quite as quickly as expected.

A Straits Times check with the 11 trackside hotels on Thursday showed up just trackside hotel Conrad Centennial Singapore with 507 rooms already booked out.

There are still plenty of rooms available at 10 other non-trackside hotels.

Given the widespread assumption that the F1 race would be a smashing success and a boon to retailers, restauranteurs and hoteliers, perhaps it shouldn't come as a surprise that the outcome could well be different (just like the 2006 IMF and World Bank meetings).

A pre-emptive windfall tax on hotel rooms has driven up the price of rooms. It's only natural to speculate that high room rates have led to the cannibalization of the regular tourism business. The F1 could be repelling tourists at the same time it is supposed to be attracting them.

Separately, this news article is one more example of shoddy reporting and the poor standard of journalism in Singapore. The reporter does little to discuss why hotel bookings are sluggish beyond opining the idea that rooms are more expensive.

Tell me something I don't know already, fool. Could you have at least asked the management of the Conrad Centennial what they did different so that all their rooms are booked out? Would it have killed you to examine whether locational differences of hotels along the race route contributed to their relative attractiveness to F1 tourists? What about the sorry, slowing, stagflationary state of the global economy? Might that just have affected the booking numbers? Are cancellations up? Where are the tourists coming from? What's the spread of nationalities, if the hotels are willing to disclose that information?

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