The green season is a rough road for many hotel operators. The Cámara Costarricense de Hoteles reported that the average occupancy in May was 51.7 percent, and similar figures were anticipated for the following months.
The occupancy was nearly 5 percentage points higher than the same month a year earlier, according to the chamber.
The chamber staff makes monthly surveys to assess the state of the industry. The results, which are available HERE, are broken down by the quality ratings of the hotels, from two to five stars, and the location.
According to the survey, the average room rate was $113.80 a night.
The rainy season that promoters now call the green season always has been a stressful time for hotel operators. During the December to March high season, occupancy was perhaps 40 percentage points higher.
Gustavo Araya, president of the chamber, said in an editorial posted online that this gap is a good reason for more of an emphasis on the convention and meeting business.
He cited data from the International Convention and Congress Association that said Costa Rica could have hosted 367 meetings, congresses and conventions of groups between 50 and 500. He said this would have meant 90,000 more visitors who would spend $130 million between May and October.
Araya noted that the governmentt plans to build a convention center in Heredia and that private enterprise must be committed to the concept too, in the same way that Uruguay, Spain, Argentina and Perú have done. Up until now, he said, Costa Rica has not even gotten a crumb of the convention business.