Singapore could be the prime beneficiary as Hong Kong’s key tourist sources such as China, the U.K. and the U.S. look for an alternative. But though long-time rivals, it’s hard to imagine the Singapore industry being gleeful about this. In the long term, Hong Kong is critical to Asia's overall appeal.
Singapore’s hotels, entertainment venues and restaurants could be the prime beneficiaries of increased tourism in the citystate as the Hong Kong protests rage on, according to DBS Bank analyst Derek Tan.
The unabating protests over the past 13 weeks have hurt Hong Kong’s tourism sector, with visitor arrivals falling by 12 percent over June and July to about 5.2 million, according to the Hong Kong Tourism Board. Several countries, such as the U.S., U.K., Japan, Ireland and Singapore, have issued travel advisories.
If 30 to 50 percent of travelers from key markets such as China, the U.K. and U.S. now divert their trips to other Asian cities, “there could be 5 to 8 percent boost to monthly tourist arrivals,” according to Tan. He sees Singapore, in particular, as primed to reap the rewards. “Singapore may benefit twice as much from the Hong Kong fallout as both these destinations share similar traits, i.e. offering tourists a wide variety of entertainment, food and culture,” Tan wrote in a note.
Stocks such as CDL Hospitality Trusts Unit, Far East Hospitality Trust and OUE Hospitality Trust in particular could benefit because of their exposure to Singapore. Ascott Residence Trust, Genting Singapore and Jumbo Group could also see more business given that they offer key entertainment, food and beverage venues for tourists, according to DBS.
“Feedback on the ground already points to a stronger third quarter and occupancy and room rates could continue to trend up at a higher momentum if Singapore enjoys some of the spillover of tourist arrivals,” Tan said.
©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
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Photo Credit: Raffles Hotel Singapore North Bridge Road Entrance. AccorHotels
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