Hospitality survey seen as indicator of more holiday business

Members of a chamber representing the tourism industry said that demand for lodgings will go up this holiday season, according to a survey.

Analysts at the Cámara Nacional de Turismo made this assessment based on the results of a survey the chamber gave to 141 hotel operators.

According to a press release from the chamber, the participants were asked what percentage of their rooms they expect will be occupied from Dec. 14 through New Year’s Day.

Chamber analysts reported that the average of all eight regions is about a 76 percent occupancy rate, which they translate as almost eight out of 10 rooms filled.

They also said that this tops the period from December 2011 to this March during which the average hotel occupancy was 70.5 percent.

This prediction stands in contrast to the bleak picture painted by the Cámara Costarricense de Hoteles which reported a drop to just 38 percent occupancy overall for hotels in October, down 4 percentage points from last year.

This hotel chamber also just announced that it is parting ways with the tourism chamber.

The tourism chamber’s survey polled the operators of 141 hotels around the country, which the chamber equated to 5,550 rooms.

Like other chamber surveys this poll specifically asked what business owners expect in the future.

As for concrete reservations, hotels in the poll reported that only about 46.5 percent of rooms on average have already been booked for this period.

Still, the hotel operators have high expectations that more reservations will come in as they reportedly plan to fill 75.9 percent of their rooms. Hotel owners with large establishments on the beach expect the best results this year, according to the survey.

Operators in Guanacaste expect 89.1 percent occupancy while those in northern Puntarenas expect 84.1 percent, the chamber said.

Owner’s hotels with between 100 and 200 rooms expect a 92.7 percent occupancy rate. Analysts said that rooms at these hotels already have 71.9 percent of their rooms booked. Also hotels on the beach and three-star hotels expect an average occupancy rate of 82.6 percent.

Unsurprisingly, hotels in the Central Valley and southern Pacific have the lowest expectations. The Central Valley operators reported 38.3 of their rooms had been reserved with an expectation of a 67.3 occupancy rate.

Those in the south Pacific reported a 32 percent occupancy rate with an expectation of 69.5 percent for the holidays.

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