Hotel chamber says September was the worst since 2009

The hotel chamber said that business in September was the worse since 2009, which was in the height of the economic downturn.

At the same time, the chamber, the Cámera Costarricense de Hotels, said that prices for some categories of hotels have increased while others have dipped.

The chamber also announced the opening of yet another hotel.  This one is the Hyatt Andaz Península Papagayo, which is expected to open Dec. 15. The hotel features 21 luxury suites among its 153 rooms. The architect is Ronald Zurcher. The peninsula is in northwestern Costa Rica on the Pacific.

Operators of many smaller hospitality facilities have been complaining about the oversupply of hotel rooms and the way international firms can maintain highly effective marketing campaigns. Some hotels have closed in the last few years.

The chamber obtained its data on hotel occupancy in September just last week. It said that the average occupancy was 35.4 percent. The Central Valley and the south Pacific showed the greatest decline but the Puntarenas area was up slightly when compared to September 2012, it said.

September is always a slow month for tourism.

In general hotels with 51 to 100 rooms showed a slight increase in occupancy while smaller hotels showed a decrease, said the chamber. Three-star hotels, which usually have lower prices than more luxury facilities showed a slight increase while four- and five-star facilities showed a decline.

The average room rate showed an 11.3 percent increase from $86.80 in 2012 to $95.50 a night this year, said the chamber.

The luxury five-star hotels actually showed a decrease in average room rates by 19.1 percent.

There were many promotions during the month.

The average income per room showed a $1.10 decrease said the chamber, which based its figures on a survey of members. Full details are on the chamber Web site

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