Amadeus warns drop in hotel occupancy

Published by rudy Date posted on February 20, 2009

FIRMS in Asia Pacific are expected to cut their travel expenses this year, resulting in the decline in hotel bookings in the country, according to Amadeus Philippines.

“There are now austerity measures being placed by companies with regards to travel. Companies are now more price-conscious and are spending more prudently,” said Albert Villadolid, Amadeus Philippines general manager, in a statement Thursday.

Villadolid said Amadeus’ survey showed that more companies in the region would be slashing expenditures intended for business trips, leading hotel occupancy in Metro Manila to go down by about 10 percent this year.

“There is already a downturn last year among the hotels. As the Philippines begin to feel the impact of the international financial crisis and the cutbacks in corporate travel, we might see a lot of Metro Manila hotels with lower occupancy levels,” Villadolid said.

Amadeus cited data showing hotel occupancy rates in Metro Manila lower by 3.31 percent year-on-year for the first 11 months of 2008.

Amadeus said Metro Manila has 81 hotels with a total of 14,344 rooms.

Villadolid said 47 percent of the business executives Amadeus polled plan to cut travel in the next 12 months, and 28 percent would probably downgrade their hotel accommodations, causing a decline in occupancies of five- and four-star hotels.

“There will also be a backlash on lesser-known hotels in the country or those with short track records as more companies are leaning towards hotel chains that have a uniform service level across all countries where they are located,” he said.

The Amadeus executive said local hotels should strive to become more competitive amid this global economic slowdown, by offering lower rates and coming up with attractive packages to continue luring in customers.

“There is a flight toward the trusted brands and consistency of service. Right now, companies are looking for good internet access and efficient check in and check out when booking hotels,” Villadolid said.

Amadeus is a technology and solutions provider for the travel and tourism industry.
— Ben Arnold O. de Vera, Manila Times

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