Hotel rates in Asia will be more affordable this year

KUALA LUMPUR: Hotel rates in most Asian cities are expected to become more affordable in 2014, following from a trend of decreasing rates in 2013, according to the Hotel Reservation Service (HRS).

“This is mainly brought about by the development of better infrastructure in cities like Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Manila,” said Christian Lukey, commercial director of HRS Asia Pacific in an email interview. “This not only increases the supply of hotels in Asia, but also increases competition, as now more choices and destinations are made available to host MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) events.

“Additionally, there is a decrease in demand for hotels as more partnerships between low cost carriers and airlines will potentially lead to more connections between flights. All this will result in fewer stopovers in major cities, reducing the need to book a hotel.”

HRS recently released its 2013 Hotel Rate Developer report and said that 2013 saw the decrease of hotel rates in most Asian cities with the exception of Bangkok and Taipei.

According to the report, hotel room rates fell in 2013 compared with 2012 in most Asian cities except for Taipei which recorded an increase of 3.66% and Bangkok, which saw its rate increase by 11.03%, one of the highest increments worldwide.

Singapore recorded a decrease of 0.07%, Kuala Lumpur a decrease of 8.55%, Seoul a decrease of 9.11%, and Mumbai recorded a decrease of 12.43%. Meanwhile, New Delhi recorded a staggering decrease of 26.63% followed by Tokyo with an 18.74% decrease.

HRS attributed the decrease of hotel rates in Asia in 2013 to the fact that it has been more aggressive and competitive in rates, especially in Singapore, offering better deals and discounts.

“It also offered a range of independent and non-GDS (Global Distribution System) hotels so there was a wider choice to travelers. With more hotels offered in Asia from luxurious to boutique ones, competition tend to be stronger and therefore the fall in hotel rates,” says HRS.

“Price competitiveness and differentiation have led to a price war within popular cities such as Singapore (€144.53; RM642), Tokyo (€134.35) and Seoul (€136.24) where throngs of tourists visit annually in the recent years,” said the report.

HRS is Europe’s leading managed business travel service provider. It’s annual Hotel Rate Development report, showcases key trends and developments of hotel rates across the globe.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on January 10, 2014.

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