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​Singapore's hotel industry can't rely on staycations; Indies raises $139m for third Asian fund

Published on: 07-Jul-2020

Singapore needs to count on ‘staycationers’ to plug the gap in an industry that brought in almost $27.81b (US$20b) in revenue last year with borders closed to foreigners, hotels and tourist attractions.

“Unless we have a return to international business, the hotel industry is going to be decimated as up to 90% of our bookings come from international travelers,” said Michael Issenberg, chief executive officer of Accor SA’s Asia Pacific unit.

Singapore’s tourism sector faces a tougher challenge, as the hotels were just given a green light last week to request approval to welcome domestic tourists. Many locals also prefer to save their money and wait for travel to resume in nearby hotspots like Thailand and Malaysia rather than spend it on a hotel down the street.

For Singapore’s tourism industry, a full recovery isn’t likely before 2022, and largely depends on countries avoiding additional waves of the virus and the development of a vaccine, said Wong King Yin, a lecturer in marketing at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University.

“Although domestic travel can be a solution at the beginning during the recovery stage, the tourism industry cannot rely on staycations to survive,” she said.

From Bloomberg:

Singapore-based alternative asset manager Indies Capital Partners has raised more than $139m (US$100m) at the first close of its third flagship fund for structured credit and private equity deals in Southeast Asia, according to a statement.

Pavilion Capital, a unit of Temasek Holdings Pte, became one of the anchor investors in the Indies Special Opportunities III fund. The vehicle will look across Southeast Asia but focus particularly on Indonesia.

Indies Capital is among investors looking to finance promising deals emerging from the coronavirus pandemic in the region. Founded in 2009, it has invested more than $1b and manages more than $764.72m (US$550m) on behalf of institutional investors and private clients.

From ChannelNews Asia:

Students whose overseas studies were disrupted by the pandemic may consider alternative plans with Singapore's autonomous universities, according to the Ministry of Education (MOE).

MOE is working with local universities to help affected students. These include fresh school-leavers, transfer applicants and those who wish to wait before resuming overseas studies, the ministry said in a press release.

For fresh school-leavers who had planned to study overseas but now wish to enrol locally, the application window for the autonomous universities was extended by two months from March to mid-May, said the ministry.

For students who are enrolled in overseas universities but wish to wait before resuming their studies overseas, they have the option of taking continuing education and training (CET) modular courses offered by local universities, the ministry added.

Alternatively, students may apply to enrol in a local university for one semester, but would need to discuss with their overseas university whether credit transfers are possible.

Source: Bloomberg, 7 July 2020

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