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Singapore hotel revenue plunges 40 percent in April

SINGAPORE -- Singapore's hotel revenue plummeted 40 percent in April as owners slashed room rates amid the global drop-off in travel.

Revenue fell to 110 million Singapore dollars (US$76 million) from S$184 million a year earlier and S$122 million in March, the Singapore Tourism Board said Wednesday.

Singapore's mainstay industries — tourism, manufacturing and finance — have all been battered by the global economic slowdown. The government expects the economy to contract as much as 9 percent this year.

The average hotel room rate of S$186 in April was down 27 percent from a year earlier and 8.4 percent lower than in March, the board said.

Tourist arrivals dropped 6.1 percent to 779,000 in April from 829,000 in the same month a year earlier, the board said. Arrivals fell 1.5 percent from March. The hotel occupancy rate slid to 71 percent from 83 percent a year earlier.

Tourist income will likely fall to between S$12 billion and S$12.5 billion this year from S$14.8 billion last year, the board said in February. It expects tourist arrivals to drop to between 9 million and 9.5 million in 2009 from 10.1 million in 2008.

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