Singapore’s hotel space has been reimagining itself for decades: Starting in the 1990s and accelerating with each passing decade, the mid-market has progressively transitioned from niche to mainstream.
Fast forward three decades and the mid-market space now comprises just over half of Singapore’s hotel room supply, with approximately 32% of these properties being managed by home-grown companies.
Owing to their competitive price range, mid-market hotels were typically found in decentralised locations. With time, this has changed and mid-market properties are now found in central locations with the arrival of internationally branded properties and exciting boutique brands.
With discerning guests increasingly expecting properties to reflect their locality, boutique hotels have gained popularity by providing customised services, often within unique architecture. Since 2010, the mid-market segment saw the growth of boutique hotels including Naumi Liora (later rebranded KeSa House), Wangz and Porcelain Hotel.
The rise of boutique hotels was also complemented by ‘bigbox’ mid-market properties, which went hand-in-hand with the rise of mass tourism to Singapore.
Notable additions included the Bay Hotel (now Travelodge Harbourfront) and Park Regis. From 2011, internationally branded hotels located in prime locations entered the market, including ibis Novena (2011), Holiday Inn Express Orchard Road (2013), Holiday Inn Express Clarke Quay (2014) and YOTEL Orchard (2017).
This increased the level of competition within the mid-market segment, which now includes domestic chains, boutiques, ‘big-boxes’, as well as smaller independent properties. COVID-19 has raised existential questions about the future of the mid-market hotel space, both in Singapore and across the globe, especially for those who do not partner with a global or strong domestic operator.
Increasingly, we will see social and economic implications framing the business model of this sector within Singapore’s hospitality scene. This will force the mid-market segment to reimagine their assets, their definition of flexibility and determine the urgency to adapt.
Read the full article here