In 2015, 15.2 million visitors entered Singapore’s borders, a 0.9% increase from 2014 and a number which continues to swell as the City-State cements is status as the hub of the Asian-Pacific region and one of the best travel destinations in the world (Lonely Planet must visit 2015). This figure is absolutely staggering, though it begs the question, for a country so densely populated as is; over 7000 people per square kilometer, where are all these tourists staying?
The answer lies in a combination of various types of rental accommodation, whether that be hostels, Pod style living, Luxury hotels, or the most recent style, Airbnb home hire. Singapore’s extensive selection of where to rest your head and leave your bag is staggering, for a city so small, it manages to pack a great variety into its borders and ensure you enjoy your stay and maintain a sense of pure comfort. For the past few decades Singapore has undeniably had its fair share of luxury hotels establish themselves within the city, at times the selection can be overwhelming let alone expensive. For the young or the fund limited traveler, the rapid growth and global adoption of Airbnb has enabled a great range of easy to access accommodation that steers clear of hotel taxes and fees. Yes, there are the more expensive options but the vast majority of Airbnb rentals are reasonably priced and accurately promoted, meaning the traveler knows what they will get and can check reviews of the site and owner in advance, a feature which in recent years has seen great success (Uber). Singapore is no exception to this booming accommodation trend, currently there are reportedly almost 7500 active properties available throughout Singapore and over 3200 hosts. These rentals cover all varieties of demographics and it is easy to see that every traveler will find an Airbnb suitable to their needs, taste and budget, clearly the Singaporean society of adjusted to a more contemporary style of house letting, that is short-term rather than long. This recent influx of Airbnb travelers has sparked the development of improved homes and housing options as more owners are deciding to rent out their property to travelers and business people alike. Architecturally designed buildings are becoming more prominent throughout the country, and interiors are also subject to restyling or complete redesign, people are realizing the potential of a modern home and capitalizing on the current trends and context of the modern day traveler.
Unlike many European cities, Singapore is limited on space, meaning a lot of the accommodation and housing will be built on a vertical scale rather than horizontal, space is limited and as such, the buildings being constructed must benefit as much as possible from what little is available. Pod hotels are becoming the new hostel in Singapore, a capsule style sleeping arrangement in communal living areas mimics the shared space of cheap hostels around the world, but modernizes the experience. The Pod or capsule accommodation styles are very futuristic in their appearance, suiting the contemporary and modern aura which Singapore possesses as the hub of the Asia Pacific. As more travelers enter the borders, space must be found for them to stay, and Pod hotels accomplish just that, fitting up to 12 people in a single room, bookings can be made as singles, doubles or groups for a price which is significantly lower than any hotel in the city. If Singapore weren’t such a tourist destination, it is doubtful that such hotels would have been developed, the need for more sleeping quarters in the same space is quite apparent within contemporary Singapore. The combination of high rise apartments, Airbnb homes, Pod hotels and public housing is proof that the city-state is constantly developing new methods to deal with their constant development as a city despite their minimal room.
The utilization of minimal space is scarcely made more obvious than in the modern development of temporary housing for travelers and visitors to the city-state of Singapore. A city in a constant state of population and popularity growth, its borders are proving too small to cope and as such, other methods are being developed in order to create a solution. Airbnb homes, Pod style hotels and a great variety of accommodation throughout the city are all available, though the footprint of these establishments are minimal and occasionally shared to increase the number of people able to stay in the city of Singapore.
468 hotels in Singapore, Singapore. 2017, Booking.com. viewed 25 January 2017, <http://www.booking.com/city/sg/singapore.html?aid=306395;label=singapore-FqbsY601clkigVq*V0xidgS110121587429:pl:ta:p1440:p2:ac:ap1t1:neg:fi:tiaud-146342136310:kwd-25097081:lp1000286:li:dec:dm;ws=&gclid=Cj0KEQiAtqHEBRCNrdC6rYq9_oYBEiQAejvRl96LzoUQKGI7RVPYr5DO_vZJ2cGK3_FyZLErn0M8na0aAqHM8P8HAQ>.
AirBnB, 2017, The Private Sanctuary, viewed 25 January 2017, <https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/5827713?s=ReBV1cvj>.
Hui, C. 2017, More tourists visited Singapore, but less tourist dollars received in 2015, Channel NewsAsia. viewed 25 January 2017, <http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/more-tourists-visited/2557826.html>.
Marina Bay Sands, 2017, SkyPark Pool, viewed 25 January 2017, <http://www.travelplusstyle.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Sunset-at-Sands-SkyPark_8701.jpg>.
Oasia, 2017, Club Lounge, viewed 25 January 2017, <https://www.tfehotels.com/assets/images/galleries/3-HEHHSGOH/Oasia_clublounge.jpg>.
Shangri La Hotels, 2017, The Orchid, viewed 25 January 2017, <http://www.shangri-la.com/uploadedImages/Shangri-la_Hotels/Singapore,_Shangri-la/SLS_The-Orchid-Homepage.jpg>.
Singapore Holiday Rentals & Villas – Airbnb 2017, Airbnb. viewed 25 January 2017, <https://www.airbnb.com.au/s/Singapore?page=1&allow_override%5B%5D=&ne_lat=1.3904632746733412&ne_lng=103.8294392129061&sw_lat=1.2766859322425244&sw_lng=103.71305279933188&zoom=13&search_by_map=true&ss_id=15adf2l7&s_tag=9wfHNkWb>.
Singapore Tourism Board, 2015, Tourism Sector Performance, Singapore. viewed 24 January 2017, <https://www.stb.gov.sg/statistics-and-market-insights/marketstatistics/q2%202015%20tourism%20sector%20performance%20report.pdf>.
Singapore Tourism: Year in Review 2014 2017, viewed 25 January 2017, <https://www.stb.gov.sg/lists/highlights/dispform.aspx?ID=19&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1>.
Singapore, Singapore Airbnb Data and Analytics – Airdna 2017, Airdna. viewed 25 January 2017, <https://www.airdna.co/city/sg/singapore>.
Statistics Singapore – Latest Data 2017, Singstat.gov.sg. viewed 25 January 2017, <http://www.singstat.gov.sg/statistics/latest-data#7>.
The Lost Guides, 2017, Plunge Pool, viewed 25 January 2017, <http://www.thelostguides.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Singpapore-airbnb2.jpg>.