updated 11 Jan 2010, 10:49
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Mon, Oct 05, 2009
The New Paper
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Make a baby at this hotel and get a discount

COME have a baby in our hotel and we'll give you a discount on your next visit.

That is the carrot being dangled by a resort hotel on the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba.

The Westin Resort is offering couples 'conception credits' - a discount of US$300 ($420) on a future booking if they conceive a child during their stay.

The resort, which started running the promotion last month, requires couples to show a doctor's note as proof that conception happened during their hotel stay.

Rooms at the resort start from about US$200 ($280) per night. Will such a promotion take off in baby-scarce Singapore?


Four hotels The New Paper checked with did not think so.

Ms Sri Wahidah Masturi, sales and marketing manager of New Majestic Hotel and Hotel 1929, said having to go to the doctor to prove when the baby is conceived will be too much of a hassle for most couples here.

But is it even possible to narrow down the day of conception to an exact date?

Gynaecologist Paul Tseng said: 'If you know the length of your menstrual cycle, you might be able to pinpoint it to the last one or two days.

'Otherwise, you could track it with ovulation sticks, but that's a little hard to prove.'

Ms Wahidah added that most Singaporeans would prefer to go abroad for romance.

She recalled a Valentine's Day promotion that the hotel had two years ago. Then, the hotel had offered each couple a kit comprising bedroom tips, condoms and massage oil, among other items.

Unfortunately, the feedback was not encouraging, she said.

Ms Belladonnah Lim, marketing communications director at Fairmont Singapore and SwissÙtel The Stamford, agreed that most Singaporeans prefer to go overseas for honeymoons and romantic getaways.

'As such, a similar marketing concept (like conception credits) will face challenges before it can become mainstream,' she said.

Ms Michelle Denise Wan, director of public relations at The Ritz-Carlton, said conception credits would be an 'attractive proposition to encourage the birth rate in Singapore'.

But she noted that the offer would not suit their customers as the hotel is targeted more at business travellers.

'Such a promotion would be more relevant to resorts where couples are likely to spend about a week on vacation,' she said.

'Moreover, to ensure the success of the promotion, it will need to be featured for a certain duration, as opposed to a single occasion such as Valentine's Day.'

Young married couples The New Paper spoke to were also not receptive towards the idea.

Ms Kelly Tay, 28, who has been married for seven months, said that such offers may appeal to only couples who are already keen to have children.

She said: 'It seems pretty troublesome to have to prove when the baby was conceived just to get a future discount of a few hundred dollars. So I'm not sure if it's worth it.'

Chances slim

Ms Tay added that the chances of conception during a brief hotel stay may also be slim. Ms Joyce Koh, 29, a product marketing manager who has been married for two years, agreed. She said having a future discount made the promotion less attractive than if it was offered upfront.

She added that conception credits should be offered as part of a holistic package in order for it to work.

'The price alone, as an incentive, won't work. It has to be the mood, the ambience, in addition to the discount,' she said.


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