Metro Manila Hotel occupancy seen to improve to 50 percent by yearend

Average occupancy in the Metro Manila hotel market is seen to improve to 50 percent by the end of the year as the country’s tourism sector gradually recovers with the easing of travel restrictions, a professional services and investment management firm said.

In its latest market intelligence report, Colliers Philippines Associate Director and Head of Research Joey Roi Bondoc said hotel occupancy to increase to 50 percent by the end of 2022 from 44 percent in 2021.

“Colliers sees a gradual recovery in the tourism sector with the lifting of global travel restrictions,”Bondoc said.

The report cited insights from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) projecting a recovery in demand for international travel despite the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine as well as travel restrictions in China.

Data from IATA showed that demand for air travel in April 2022 rose by 79 percent compared to the same period of last year.

The IATA said it is seeing the long-expected surge in bookings as people seek to make up for two years of lost travel opportunities with the lifting of many border restrictions.

Colliers also cited data from the Department of Tourism (DOT) showing that foreign arrivals reached 517,500 from February to May 2022, a significant improvement from about 40,000 arrivals recorded in the same period last year.

It added that data from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) showed that the tourism industry contributed $41 billion  to the Philippine economy in 2021, up 130 percent from 2020.

“In our view, this should signal recovery in hotel demand for the remainder of 2022,”Bondoc said.

“We recommend that hotel operators continue to re-purpose and upgrade their facilities and amenities, as well as offer attractive promos and discounts to guests,”Bondoc said.

Bondoc also suggested that hotel operators should also continue to comply with government-mandated health and safety protocols.

In April, the Philippine Hotel Owners Association (PHOA) affirmed improving hotel occupancies.

“Our member hotels have been reporting better occupancy with the stronger demand from the domestic market, mainly staycation,  and foreign visitors, including balikbayans,”PHOA Executive Director Benito Bengzon, Jr. said earlier.

“The return to pre-pandemic foreign arrival levels will depend on the volume of production from major source markets like Korea, China and Japan,”he added.