Thursday, September 24, 2009

Empty hotel rooms means cheaper accommodation for tourists |Vietnam

Newly released figures reveal Vietnamese hotel room occupancy dropped by 30 per cent in the first eight months of 2009.
HCM CityHowever, what’s bad news for the industry is good news for bargain hunting tourists planning on visiting Viet Nam.

The information, provided by commercial real estate CB Richard Ellis (CBRE), also shows numbers of foreign tourists coming to Viet Nam has decreased by 19.7 per cent compared to the same period in 2008.

In Hanoi, the occupancy rate at three-star hotels dropped from 77 per cent last year to 43 per cent in the first six months of 2009, while the rate at four star hotels dropped from 67 per cent to 39 per cent. The rate at five star hotels dropped from 69 per cent to 50 per cent.

It’s a situation that has been mirrored in HCM City. By June the average room rate at four-star hotels had dropped from its year beginning price of $80 to just $50 per night. Five star hotels averaged a drop from $130 a night to $80.

In general, the room rate in HCM City has dropped by 25-38 percent within six months.

Though the survey makes for gloomy reading for the tourist industry, according to global hotel index provier STR Global, Vietnam is still considered a more bustling market than many others.

According to Robert Mcintosh, a senior executive of CBRE Hotels Asia Pacific, hotels are taking the right course of action in reducing room rates in order to attract more clients.

However, in some cases, hotels fear reducing room rates will badly affect brand names. Some have opted instead for launching promotional campaigns.

Mr Mcintosh added that Vietnam’s biggest problem in the hotel market remains the lack of medium range options. However he believes the situation will be quite different in three to five years.

He adds that big hotel management groups like Accor, Intercontinental and Marriot may well bring more mass market and top level brand names to further develop the market.

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