The average occupancy rate of 81 hotels in Metro Manila improved to 71.5 percent in August this year from 68.5 percent in the same month in 2006, brought about by a 10.3 percent increase in international visitor arrivals.
Occupancy rate in the first eight months averaged 74.8 percent, rising from 71.32 percent a year ago. The Tourism Research and Statistics Division of the Department of Tourism earlier reported that foreign visitor arrivals topped two million in the first eight months of 2007, up 8.4 percent year-on-year.
Occupancy rate improved despite the addition of six more hotels this year, bringing the stock of major hotels in Metro Manila to 81, with 14,169 rooms, compared with 13,620 rooms of 75 hotels registered a year earlier.
These rooms were classified as de luxe (7,353); first-class (2,231); standard (3,989); and economy (596).
Several major hotel developments are being planned in Metro Manila and other parts of the country by major real estate developers such as Ayala Land Inc., SM Group and Megaworld Corp.
But Tourism Undersecretary Oscar Palabyab said the challenge for the private sector lied in the construction of 20,000 more hotel rooms over the next three years to accommodate the expected increase in the number of foreign visitors to about five million by 2010.
Occupancy rate of 17 de luxe hotels in August climbed to 72.5 percent from 70.0 percent a year ago, led by the 88.6 percent occupancy level at the Bellevue Manila in Alabang. Makati Shangri-La Manila reported the second highest occupancy rate of 86.1 percent.
The average occupancy rate among nine first-class hotels improved to 73.8 percent from 67.4 percent.
Discovery Suites with a 91.3 percent occupancy rate was the most preferred first-class hotel and hosted the longest staying guest at 5.88 nights for the third consecutive month.
It was followed by Traders Hotel Manila with 83.7 percent occupancy level.
Outside Metro Manila, foreign and local investors are building new hotels and resorts in Subic, Clark, Batangas, Albay, Camarines Sur, Palawan, Boracay, Cebu, Bohol, and Davao.
Roderick dela Cruz, Manila Standard