The Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands reported 82.75 percent occupancy among 11 member hotels for August 2015, a 2-percent decrease compared to August 2014.
A total of 58,470 of 70,659 available room nights sold in August 2015, compared to 58,479 of 71,393 of available room nights sold over the same period last year. Room rates were $139.92 during the month, compared to $146.51 last August.
“Understandably, we saw a dip in hotel occupancy in August due to Typhoon Soudelor and the temporary closure of the Saipan International Airport,” said HANMI chair Gloria Cavanagh. “However, the decrease was minimized as rooms left vacant by visitor cancellations were filled by locals without power and off-island emergency responders.”
So far this calendar year, hotel occupancy is at an average 86 percent, 1 percent higher than last year. Additionally, average room rates have increased by 6 percent compared to the same period last fiscal year.
“As we see from Typhoon Soudelor, tourism is a sensitive industry,” said Cavanagh. “We’re disappointed to see funding being diverted from the Marianas Visitors Authority and marketing in the proposed fiscal year 2016 budget. In the long run and for economic stability, we know it would be wiser to re-invest in the breadwinner of the CNMI economy—the MVA—as we continue to rebuild and strengthen the tourism economy in preparation for the unexpected.”
The Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, was established in 1985 as a professional forum for the hospitality industry of the NMI. (HANMI)