Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Hotels cut rates for 2009 Singapore F1 race

Unlike soaring hotel rates which led to a drop in occupancy last year, many hotels are playing it safe by slashing their rates by up to 50 per cent for the event from 25 to 27 Sep.
The five-star Royal Plaza on Scotts is charging $380++ per night for a deluxe room, down from $960++ last year.
Its general manager Mr Patrick Fiat said: 'Last year, many hotels made the mistake of having high rates from Day One and they had to drop rates closer to the race.
'Now, we're having a lower rate to attract early bookings. With the economic crisis, people will think twice about overspending.'
He said those who confirm their bookings now will pay $380++ per night but the hotel would adjust the rate when the levy is confirmed.
So far, the 511-room hotel is 13 per cent booked for the race.

Orchard Hotel's rates start from $455++ a night, down from $800++ last year.
Its communications director Ms Amy Ang said: 'There're perks for those who confirm bookings early, as we may increase the price when the levy is out.'
Pan Pacific Singapore, one of the trackside hotels, is charging $970++ a night for a deluxe room, down from $1,500++ last year.
Marina Mandarin is having a promotional rate of $600++ a night for guests who make bookings from now till 31 Mar.
For last year's race, it charged $1,500++ per night.

But Ritz-Carlton Millenia is sticking to its $2,200++ a night rate.
Its public relations director Ms Michelle Wan said: 'Our deluxe rooms are selling fast and our corporate bookings are currently on pace when compared to the same period of time last year.'
Easier to sell
National Association of Travel Agents Singapore chief Robert Khoo said his members would welcome a lower levy and hotel rates.
He said: 'It's always easier to sell tour packages if hotel rooms are cheaper.'
As for the tickets, The New Paper on Sunday understands that prices for the Bay Grandstand ($248-$298 last year) and walkabout tickets ($168 last year) are not expected to increase.
Details of this year's ticket prices will be made known soon.

Some companies are still spending on corporate hospitality suites for this year's race, despite prices going up by $500 to $2,000.
Standard Chartered Bank is one of them. Last year, it flew in 200 clients from Europe, the Middle East and the US.
Its spokesman said: 'Standard Chartered will be participating in the F1 race this year because our hospitality last year with our clients was a success.'

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