Holiday occupancy estimated to be around 80 percent

Hospitality operators expect at least 80 percent occupancy over the holiday and firm reservations already are about 60 percent, said the  Cámara Nacional de Turismo, which surveyed 134 establishments.

The expectations cover from Dec, 13 to Jan. 5, the peak of the high tourism season.

The average expectation of all the establishments was 78 percent, said the chamber.

The chamber said that officials hope that occupancy will be higher than the 74 percent that was registered in the same period last year.

The survey broke down the hospitality businesses by geographical location.

The expectation was:

Central Pacific 87 percent; Puntarenas, islands in the gulf and including Monteverde, 83 percent: south Pacific, 79 percent; Guanacaste, 77 percent; the Caribbean coast, 76 percent; the northern zone, 75 percent, and the Central Valley, 72 percent.

The chamber also said that five-star hotels with 100 or more rooms anticipated better than 90 percent occupancy.

The nature of the survey and the number of respondents means that each percentage should be considered a broad range. The chamber will provide actual figures in January. Previous estimates had been fairly accurate.

The Central Valley usually has the lowest occupancy during holidays due to the movement of vacationers to beaches and the mountains.

The hospitality industry relies on the holiday season to provide the lions share of its annual income.

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