Big players from the little red dot

Big players from the little red dot


DESPITE being small, Singapore boasts a sizeable pool of hoteliers and serviced residence owners and operators who have made their name in the world.


The Ascott Group, a hospitality player with a presence in India, is one of the world’s largest international serviced residence owner-operators.


Banyan Tree made the Conde Nast Traveller’s Gold List 2006 in the ‘Best for Rooms’ category. It also won a Travel & Leisure Award for being the world’s 33rd best hotel group and 11th best in Asia. Millennium Copthorne Hotel Group is among the world’s 40 biggest hotel groups.


Indian market


According to Reginald Wee, regional director for international operations in South Asia at International Enterprise Singapore, the 40-odd Singapore-based global hospitality enterprises operate 513 hotel and serviced residence properties with 89,554 keys outside Singapore, excluding Shangri-La.


‘The Indian market remains the most important in South Asia for Singapore-based hospitality players,’ Mr Wee says.


‘At the latest count, there are 10 Singapore players in South Asia, which by end-2010 will manage 34 properties with 3,656 rooms.’


They are Ascott, Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts, Hotel Properties, ALiLA Resorts, Bonvest Holdings, COMO Hotels and Resorts, Pan Pacific Hotels and Resorts, Raffles, Aman Resorts and Millennium & Copthorne International.


Skilled worker shortage


Mr Wee says potential challenges in the hospitality business include a shortage of skilled workers, retaining quality workers and a lack of government incentives such as capital subsidies, tax holidays and low interest rates.


‘Retention of the workforce is a real problem, with high attrition levels,’ he says. ‘One of the reasons is comparatively unattractive wages compared with those in other sectors. So despite a boom in the services sector, many hotel management graduates choose to join other industries like retail and aviation instead of hospitality.’


Many governments do push for investment in the hospitality sector. Their backing is confined mainly to concessions such as stamp duty and electricity consumption, he adds.


Source: Business Times


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