Singapore Bets on Business Travel with ‘Virus-Secure’ Hotel
Singapore is courting business travellers with a new hotel concept at Changi Airport, where guests can avoid the 14-day quarantine requirement by trading constant Covid-19 testing for private meeting rooms. Will it convince them to visit the city state?
On arrival, guests are taken to the purpose-built Connect@Changi hotel, where they are tested for Covid-19 and limited to their room until a test comes back negative – at which point, they’re free to roam the premises. To offer protection against false negatives, guests are routinely tested throughout their stay.
The hotel amenities were designed with business travellers in mind. There are currently 40 private meeting rooms, with the ability to expand to 170. To help guests feel safe, they have plexiglass dividers fitted with intercoms, further cutting transmission risk. This gives each meeting participant their own separate space, underlining the potential of hygiene measures to reassure guests, a topic we dissect in Profiling the Future Traveller. All meals are included in the room cost, and concierge services can be accessed via an app. Guests can also book gym time in a private fitness studio. The hotel has rooms for 150 guests and plans to scale up to 660, if there’s demand.
While some of these measures might feel like hygiene theatre, as we heard at the Skift Global Forum 2020, such hyper-hygienic measures can translate into a measurable increase in tourist visits. Yet Singapore’s success will also depend on how much money and time people want to devote to business travel post-pandemic.
As we discuss in The State of Business Travel, industry experts anticipate that travelling for work will be slower to recover than leisure travel, which is already showing signs of a rebound among a select cohort – see The Brief for details.