Marianas Variety

Last updateFri, 23 Feb 2018 12am







    Thursday, February 22, 2018-9:52:04P.M.






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Hotel official: Occupancy rate up

HOTEL Association of Northern Mariana Islands president Gloria Cavanagh said the hotel occupancy rate in 2017 was 91.7 percent compared to 87.63 percent in 2016.

This means that in 2017 there were 774,851 room nights sold, she told the Saipan Rotary Club on Tuesday at the Hyatt’s Giovanni’s Restaurant.

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Hotel Association of Northern Marianas Islands president Gloria Cavanagh speaks about the tourism industry during the Rotary Club of Saipan meeting on Tuesday.  Photo by Junhan B. Todiño

“HANMI represents a total of 846,066 room nights for a 12-month period,” she said.

The general manager of Mariana Resort & Spa, Cavanagh also noted that the Marianas Visitors Authority recorded a higher number of rooms sold compared to the figures provided by HANMI.

“So where are they staying?” she asked, referring to tourists who did not check in at a local hotel.

Cavanagh, who also chairs the MVA board, said HANMI wants to know if guest houses and bed and breakfast establishments are paying the hotel-occupancy tax.

The last week of September to November is considered the low season, and there have been price cuts implemented by airlines from certain destinations, she added.

Because of the “price wars,” Cavanagh said some airlines have placed customers at lower end, non-HANMI accommodations.

“It is HANMI’s strong opinion that these types of accommodations are necessary, especially [amid] the high occupancy rates over the last few years,” she said.

But guest houses and B&B’s must pay the hotel-occupancy tax. “We are not talking about closing them down,” she added.

“Tourism is a delicate economy, and there’s a need to ensure the safety of the tourists staying in unpermitted places.”

In addition, MVA relies on the hotel-occupancy tax, she said.