The Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands reported 94.24 percent occupancy among 11 member hotels for December 2016, a 6-percent Increase compared to December 2015.
A total of 67,734 of 71,874 available room nights sold in December 2016, compared to 63,208 of 71,579 available room nights sold over the same period last year.
Average room rates were $148.16 during the month, compared to $142.89 last December.
“Overall, visitor arrivals increased 25 percent in December, largely from the family market of Korea, and that is also reflected in an increase in hotel occupancy rates,” said HANMI chair Gloria Cavanagh.
In calendar year 2016, the average occupancy rate is 87.63 percent, while the average room rate is $140.12. This compares to calendar year 2015, when the average occupancy rate was 87.20 and the average room rate was $132.93. The statistics are based on 11 member hotels of HANMI representing a majority of hotel rooms in the Northern Marianas.
HANMI also recorded increase in the number of U.S.-eligible employees over the calendar year. In December 2015, HANMI-member hotels employed 1,633 employees: 684 NMI/U.S. employees, 80 Freely Associated States employees, and 869 foreign contract workers. As for December 2016, HANMI employed a total of 1,668 employees: 741 NMI/U.S. employees, 107 Freely Associated States employees, and 820 foreign contract workers.
“HANMI is among many tourism-based businesses sustaining the CNMI economy that are diligently working toward educating and employing more local and other U.S.-eligible employees,” said Cavanagh. “However, it remains clear that our operations are still very much dependent on CW-visa workers. We strongly support H.R. 339 introduced this week by [Delegate] Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) that will allow these businesses to continue to retain valuable, experienced employees under the CW visa program, and we look forward to working with the federal government toward a more permanent resolution to this issue in the year ahead.”
The Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands was established in 1985 as a professional forum for the hospitality industry of the NMI. HANMI also makes regular charitable donations to support non-profit organizations and tourism-related government projects.
Membership in HANMI is open to all qualified hotels, motels, guest houses and other lodging entities for tourists, as well as affiliated businesses. Applications for 2017 membership are now being accepted. For more information or to request a membership application, visit www.saipanhotels.org. (HANMI)