Hotels’ occupancy rates rise in February 2006

Deluxe hotels in Metro Manila posted their highest average occupancy rate in February 2006, amid a political noise that failed to scare away foreign investors and tourists in the Philippines.

Data from the Tourism Research and Statistics Division of the Department of Tourism (DOT) showed that the average hotel occupancy rate climbed to 82.9 percent in February 2006 from 78.9 percent in January and 77.9 percent a year ago.

Tourism Secretary Joseph Ace Durano attributed this to the 11.5 percent increase in international visitor arrivals to 223,053 in February this year.

Of the 18 deluxe hotels in Metro Manila, 12 have reported an occupancy rate above 80 percent. In the hotel lingo, a hotel is said to be operating at a full capacity if it has an occupancy rate of 80 percent or higher.

Makati Shangri-La Manila reported the highest occupancy rate of 94.1 percent in February. It was followed by Hotel Philippine Plaza, with 92.6 percent; Bellevue Manila, 92 percent; Mandarin Oriental Manila, 91.9 percent; and New World Renaissance Hotel, 91.7 percent.

In the first two months of 2006, occupancy rate at deluxe hotels improved to 80.7 percent from only 76.2 percent during the same period in 2005, according to Assistant Secretary Eduardo Jarque Jr., who heads the DOT’s Tourism Planning and Promotions,

This was despite the fact that the number of deluxe hotel rooms went up by 2.2 percent to 7,854 in the two-month period this year from 7,684 last year.

Deluxe hotel rooms accounted for 60 percent of the total 13,081 hotel rooms in Metro Manila. Data showed that other hotel categories also posted higher occupancy rates this year.

The average occupancy rate at first-class hotels improved to 75.2 percent in the first two months of 2006 from 70.5 percent a year ago while occupancy rate at standard hotels increased to 71.5 percent from 66.1 percent.

Likewise, occupancy rate at economy hotels rose to 65.6 percent from 63.9 percent. Overall, the average occupancy rate at the four hotel categories representing 70 establishments improved to 77 percent from 72.8 percent.

The overall average length of stay of hotel guests in Metro Manila for the January-February period also improved by 37 percent to 2.68 nights this year from 2.67 nights last year.

The DOT said it expects occupancy rates at hotels in Metro Manila to remain high in the coming months, with the expected influx of some 3 million international visitors this year.

As of February 2006, international visitor arrivals already reached 491,871 or 17 percent higher than 420,376 arrivals recorded a year ago.

Occupancy rates at hotels in major tourist destinations are even higher, according to travel agencies who complain of full occupancy at hotels in Davao, Palawan, Cebu, Bohol and Boracay. From MANILA STANDARD TODAY

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