Thursday, October 14, 2010

No tourist? Blame it on those ATAS hotels

We are constantly promoting Singapore to the world. From one Grand Prix to two casinos, no matter how big and expensive the project, STB will squeeze anything and everything into the little red dot for the sake of more tourists. However I'm not sure if they are looking at the number of visitors revisiting Singapore.

I've never seen any statistics on the number of returning visitors, but at least all my foreign friends who have visited Singapore once are definitely not keen in coming back for the second time. Well, excluding those that have to come for business. And the common reason? They felt being ripped off by the Singapore hotels.

One friend from Hong Kong visited during the first F1 Grand Prix and while he felt that the ticket was expensive, it was still acceptable because it was the first night race experience. What was not acceptable was having to pay through his nose to stay in some budget hotel in some dodgy place. This year, he chased after the race in Japan.

One friend from France came for a short break and paid five hundreds over dollars for a room in a five-star hotel along Scotts Road. All thanks to the hotel's minibar, she did not dare to drink another can of soft drink in Singapore during the whole trip. That one and only can of Coke she drank from the minibar cost her a painful and memorable five dollars.

One colleague from Canada was here on business last quarter. The first time that he stayed at this five-star hotel near Marina Bay, he paid forty over dollars for a plate of Hainanese Chicken Rice, only to find out during lunch that we paid the same price for one whole chicken, some side dishes and a plate of rice for all eight of us. And this Lost-and-Found stall's chicken rice tasted better.

The same Canadian colleague was here again on business recently. This time, he stayed at the same five-star hotel with its name started with "C", and having learned his lesson that the hotel's very presentable chicken rice was a total rip-off, he ordered Fish and Chips. It cost him fifty over dollars. And no, that fish was not an endangered Queensland grouper.

Seriously, STB, besides spending so much money renovating Your Orchard Road, getting rid of maids picnics and replacing them with butterflies, and spending so much effort coming up with yet another catchy tag line for Your campaign, you should go have a talk with Your five-star hotels and tell them that nobody is visiting Your Singapore because Your hotels are too damn expensive!


Daphne Maia said...

OUCH. :( What u say does make sense. I really don't like GrandPrix period. Everything is expensive.

Oh well. I don't know what else I can do except to go overseas during GP. I also recommend my friends not to visit during that period. :(

Wai Leong said...

Don't understand. You think govt should interfere in market pricing?

You think Michael Bloomberg should tell Donald Trump how much his hotels should charge?

Scribe said...

"forty over dollars for a plate of Hainanese Chicken Rice"?
That gotta be a joke. If you want to lie, at least make it more believable.

Unknown said...

@Daphne, can't agree more wif u!

@Wai Leong, did I say govt, or STB in this case, shd interfere anywhere in my post? I only think that they shd know what the hotels are charging and maybe they can figure out some promo wif the hotels to lower some cost.

@Chloe, if u think i'm lying, go check out tat hotel. If you wanna comment, at least go find out the fact first.

Anonymous said...

One of my colleague from the US put up in the sand casino hotel recently.

He made a reservation from the internet only to be told that it was fully book when he arrived.

The hotel is kind enough to upgrade him to another room but guess what when he enter the room? There was someone sleeping in it! This room had been occupied! The hotel later change another room for him.

And when he visited the nice pool in the late afternoon, he literally stand instead of swim due to the crowd. It was the same case during his 3 days there.

Looking at the fees he is paying for the services and facilities he encountered, it is definitely an one-off experience.

Unknown said...

Reuters: Singapore hotel rooms most expensive in Asia-survey