Rate growth drives Maldives hotel performance in August

Tourism establishments across the Maldives recorded a strong performance last month, according to data released by leading global market research and analysis firm STR.

A report analysing Asia Pacific hotel industry performance shows that occupancy fell by 2.6 percent to 64.7 percent last month compared to August 2016. Average Daily Rate (ADR), however, increased by 9.9 percent to MVR 7,898.31 (USD 513) and Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR) was up seven percent to reach MVR 5,110.69 (USD 332).

“A three percent year-over-year increase in supply outpaced relatively flat demand (+0.3 percent) in the country, but rate growth drove hotel performance for the month. Maldives currently has 19 hotel projects accounting for 2,610 rooms in the pipeline, representing 20 percent of the country’s existing supply,” the report read.

Along with the Maldives, hotels in other Asia Pacific countries also reported positive results in the three key performance metrics during August 2017.

The findings come as the world-famous holiday destination struggles to match an increased bed capacity.

Over the past three years, dozens of uninhabited islands have been leased to local and foreign resort developers. Several international brands have entered into the market, increasing the number of resorts to 120. That number is set to increase as the government has announced the opening of some 20 new resorts by the end of this year.

Along with the new resort openings come the challenge of increasing demand from budget travellers who choose guesthouses over luxury resorts that the Maldives is known for. The guesthouse sector has rapidly expanded with over 300 guesthouses in operation today.

Government has come under fire from private organisations representing industry stakeholders such as the Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) over the lack of effort and budget to promote the Maldives as a destination.

The government has recently announced new steps to maintain a structured growth in tourism, including a slowdown in leasing islands for resort development and increased marketing efforts in key markets such as China and the Middle East in order to reach an ambitious target of a record 1.5 million tourist arrivals this year.

According to the latest figures, total arrivals for the first seven months of the year increased by 5.5 percent to reach 770,715 compared to the 730,353 in the same period of last year.

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