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Economy

Tourists flocking to Tokyo hotels despite rising prices

TOKYO -- Average occupancy at 18 major Tokyo hotels edged up 0.1 percentage point to 83.8% in the year ended in March -- staying in the 80% range seen as near full occupancy -- even as hotels hike rates, though recent data shows signs of a downtrend.

Occupancy declined at 11 hotels and rose at seven, a Nikkei Inc. survey shows. At least 10 hotels saw average daily room rates climb 10% or more, with three more enjoying growth in the 9% range.

Palace Hotel Tokyo's occupancy slipped 2.4 points to 77.9%, while average room rates jumped roughly 15%. The hotel focused on service quality rather than guest numbers, including offering higher-quality food at the club lounge.

Average occupancy at the 18 hotels fell on the year for a second straight month in March, sliding 2.4 points to 84%. Tokyo Prince Hotel was one of the 11 hotels that were emptier, with occupancy sinking 2.1 points to 80.9%. It had focused on boosting average room rates by attracting higher-paying individual guests rather than groups. Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo, where occupancy dropped 5.6 points to 86%, raised prices to boost profitability.

Average occupancy at 12 top Osaka hotels fell 1.3 points to 90.8% in March, the first decline in four months. Higher prices and trouble securing reservations may have led travelers to seek accommodations outside the city.

Tokyo hotels are starting to feel the impact of last month's earthquakes in Kyushu. Hotel Okura Tokyo saw cancellations by groups of guests from Europe after the quakes.

(Nikkei)

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