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NEWS UPDATES 27 December 2009

Decline in arrivals cuts luxury room rates in Ho Chi Minh City

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Room tariffs at three-to five-star hotels in the country’s travel hub of HCMC has fallen by 16.9 percent this year to an average of $108.7 per room night due to a decline in international tourist arrivals, reported, citing statistics from the tourism department.

The average room rate at four-star hotels has fallen 17.3 percent, followed by a fall of 16 percent at five-star hotels and 14.3 percent at three-star facilities, the HCMC Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism said in a report. There are currently 56 three-to five-star hotels with over 8,300 rooms in the city.

The average occupancy rate at these hotels has also fallen by 12.1 percent to 54.5 percent this year. The average occupancy at five-star hotels has fallen by a sharper 12.7 percent year on year.

The department attributed the lower room rate and occupancy to the falling number of international tourist arrivals. HCMC welcomed around 2.6 million international visitors in 2009, down by around 200,000 compared to last year’s.

Nine of the top ten source markets for the city’s inbound sector have seen contractions this year. In specifics, arrivals from the US fell 4 percent, Japan 16 percent, Taiwan 9 percent, South Korea 14 percent, Australia 6 percent, China 3 percent, Malaysia 7 percent, Singapore 10 percent, and France 5 percent, while only arrivals from England increased 1 percent.

According to the report, the city now has 1,350 tourist accommodations with nearly 32,000 rooms, up184 accommodations compared to 2008. Of them, 620 hotels are classified from one- to five-star hotels with 20,430 rooms.

The department in the report rates service quality as agreeable. “In terms of service quality, all star-rated hotels in the city can compete with hotels of the same standards in the region,” it said.

However, despite lower room rates, some tour operators said hotels in HCMC are still more expensive than those in the region.

Tu Quy Thanh, director of Lienbang Travelink, told the Daily that four- to five-star hotels in HCMC are 15 percent to 20 percent higher than those in the region.


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