‘Increased demand from higher end visitors’


The top official of the Marianas Visitors Authority sees the CNMI breaching the 600,000 mark in tourist arrivals in fiscal year 2018 as a good sign that the Commonwealth is not hyper-actively growing beyond what the hotel industry capacity allows.

Though the number is lower than last year’s, MVA managing director Chris Concepcion said this only means that the slight contraction means “this is the time for hotels to reinvest in their properties, to renovate their rooms, restaurants, grounds and facilities to meet growing demand from up-and-coming markets like Taiwan and returning markets like Japan.”

HANMI reported last week an 81.24 percent average occupancy rate among its hotel members in September 2018—a 10-percent decrease in occupancy rate during the same month last year.

HANMI also disclosed that, while occupancy is down, average room rate is at $146.96, the highest ever September average room rate that the association has recorded. The average room rate in September 2017 was $135.52.

HANMI said that September marked the first month that the now closed Mariana Resort & Spa was not included among the hotels that were counted, indicating a loss of 124 hotel rooms.

Concepcion said there is a decrease in hotel occupancy levels because there’s a slight drop in tourist arrivals.

MVA will be releasing its September arrivals report this week that provides further details.

On room rates, the MVA managing director said they are the highest ever because HANMI, the MVA, and their industry partners have managed to increase demand from higher end visitors who are willing to pay a higher rate per room night.

Concepcion said with the closing of Mariana Resort they are naturally concerned about its future as a premier hotel in the CNMI, the loss in hotel occupancy tax and other taxes paid to the CNMI government, and the maintenance of the sprawling property itself.

“We are confident our partners at the Department of Public Lands are on top of things and look forward to a resolution soon,” he added.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

Related Posts

Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.