SINGAPORE hotels were only half-filled in February, resulting in a 40 per cent plunge in room revenues, as coronavirus fears threaten to bring the global travel industry to a grinding halt, according to data from the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).
The standard average occupancy rate in February 2020 was 51 per cent, a steep fall from the 83.1 per cent in January, which saw little impact yet from the Covid-19 outbreak that was mostly confined to China. In contrast, the rate was 88.5 per cent in February 2019.
While the average room rate in February 2020, at S$230 per night, saw a 2.3 per cent year-on-year gain, the revenue per available room was down to S$117, representing a 41 per cent year-on-year drop.
Large hotels, defined by STB as those with more than 300 rooms, appear to be the worst hit in occupancy rate at 51.4 per cent, representing a year-on-year drop of 39.5 percentage points. They also saw their revenue per available room sink 42.7 per cent year on year to under S$125.
Medium-sized hotels that have between 101 and 299 rooms were moderately affected in comparison, with a 35.4 percentage point drop in occupancy rate to 52.1 per cent. Their revenue per available room fell 36.3 per cent to S$114.
Small hotels, which have up to 100 rooms, had an occupancy rate of 46.2 per cent, which is 26.6 percentage points lower than a year ago. Revenue per available room for these hotels fell 30 per cent year on year to S$71.
These statistics came ahead of widespread border closures and national lockdowns across the world, as it was in March that the Covid-19 outbreak was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization.
Since the emergence of the virus in Wuhan, China in late-December, Covid-19 has sickened more than half a million people globally and killed more than 24,000.