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Far East Hospitality reports sharp drop in hotel occupancy

The hotel and serviced residence property trust said companies are continuing to restrain their travel spending as a result of the lingering economic uncertainty.

SINGAPORE: Far East Hospitality Trust, a Singapore-focused hotel and serviced residence property trust, will pay 13.3 per cent less in distribution per stapled security as occupancy at its hotels fell amid a plunge in visitor arrivals from China.

Far East Hospitality, whose properties include Rendezvous Hotel and Village Hotel Albert Court, will pay 1.24 Singapore cents per stapled security for the quarter ended June, down from 1.43 cents a year ago.

The average occupancy at its hotels was 80.1 per cent for the quarter, down from 87.7 per cent in the same period a year ago, while the average daily rate dipped to S$188 from S$191 a year ago.

Far East Hospitality's gross revenue rose 1 per cent to S$29.6 million for the quarter, mainly due to the contribution from Rendezvous Hotel which was acquired in August 2013.

Explaining its poorer performance, Far East Hospitality said companies continued to restrain their travel spending as a result of the lingering macroeconomic uncertainties.

"Leisure travel demand was also impacted by regional events," said Far East Hospitality. "In particular, arrivals from China, Singapore's second largest visitor market, was affected by the imposition of a new restriction by the Chinese Government on shopping tours and a decline in demand for Singapore-Malaysia-Thailand tour packages."

For the first five months of 2014, visitor arrivals from China fell by 27.4 per cent year-on-year, it added.

Looking ahead, the trust said the operating environment for the Singapore hospitality market is expected to remain relatively competitive.

The reduced business travel spending amid the protracted recovery of the global economy, and potential weakness in visitor arrivals could continue to weigh on the accommodation demand in the near term, it said.

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