MICE events spur recovery of Southeast Asia's hotel industry

The increasing number of large-scale events are contributing to the heightened demand for hotel rooms in the region.

Occupancy and average daily rate (ADR) for the month of September 2022 in Singapore peaked during The Business Show.
Occupancy and average daily rate (ADR) for the month of September 2022 in Singapore peaked during The Business Show. Photo Credit: Facebook/The Business Show

The hotel industry in Southeast Asia is experiencing a surge in demand as the MICE sector makes a bigger comeback to the region. According to data insights from STR, the first half of 2022 was challenging for hoteliers due to Covid-19 restrictions. However, the demand has steadily increased since then, with MICE events playing a significant role.

Large-scale events such as conferences, exhibitions, and trade shows have made a return in 2022, contributing to the rise in hotel occupancy and average daily rates (ADR).

The Business Show in Singapore, held in September 2022, led to peak levels of occupancy and ADR for the month, with ADR sitting at an impressive US$382 on the 29th, and occupancy reaching 87% on the 28th.

Similarly, the G20 Summit held in Bali in November 2022 had a significant impact on the hotel sector in Indonesia, with revenue per available room (RevPAR) reaching its peak in November at US$157.40.

Looking ahead to the next Asian host city for the G20 Summit, New Delhi, early indications show a healthy 15% increase in occupancy already.

Cultural festivals and celebrations are also driving demand for hotel rooms in Southeast Asia. Thailand's Songkran festival, which sees several festivals throughout the country, is a prime example of a festival that drives hotel demand. The festival typically runs from 13-15 April each year, and Bangkok's occupancy on the books reflected a peak of 54% for 14 April 2023.

Similarly, the Climate and Clean Air Conference 2023 set to take place at the United Nations Conference Centre in May 2023 has also driven demand, with occupancy increasing to 40%.

Easter celebrations are also a significant factor in certain SE Asian countries, particularly Singapore and the Philippines. Occupancy on the books in Singapore was already at 64% for 7 April 2023, with further pickups expected during the Easter week. Historical performance data indicates that Easter played a vital role in Manila's hotel performance for April 2022, with an impressive ADR of US$96.31 on Good Friday.

The return of big-name music acts has also contributed to the recovery of the hotel industry in Southeast Asia. Justin Bieber's visit to Jakarta in November 2022, for example, resulted in a peak in ADR and RevPAR for the month, with RevPAR coming in at US$49.85 on 2 November.