It’s no surprise that most (mid-ranged?) hotels are fully booked with all the events coming up and air travel made affordable (and I thought there was rising fuel surcharges). This is a far cry from the times of SARS when hotel rates were hitting rock bottom and no one wanted to stay in them. In fact that was one of the best times for the locals to enjoy the luxury of high-end hotels.

Nowdays… you can forget about even spending your weekend there on a tight budget. Even the up-market hostel at Emily cost more than Pan Pacific. Sigh.

The alternative would of course be holiday chalets like Costa Sands, Sentosa Beach Resorts or maybe even Bintan and Batam – if you don’t mind the occasional seasickness that might come with it.

TOURISM numbers are at a record high – Singapore welcomed 883,000 visitors in January, up by 6.9 per cent compared to the same period a year ago.

But not everyone is celebrating. The hotel room crunch has worsened, say travel agents, and those most badly affected are tourists who stay at mid-priced hotels.

Business travellers and top-tier tourists can stay at five- or six-star hotels and budget travellers have their pick of no-frills hotel chains such as Hotel 81 and Fragrance Hotel.

But for tourists who are willing to fork out $150 to $230 a night, there is just no room at the inn.

Travel agents say mid-priced hotels such as Windsor Hotel in MacPherson Road, The Elizabeth Hotel in Mount Elizabeth, Allson Hotel and Hotel Royal @ Queens in Victoria Street and Lion City Hotel in Tanjong Katong Road are fully booked most of the time.

Article obtained from straitstimes.com on 21st March 2008



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