Chinese tourists drive hotel occupancy
Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star) - August 12, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Hotel developers and operators are urged to capitalize on the influx of Chinese tourists in the country by monitoring new flight agreements between Philippine and Chinese airlines as well the use of mobile payment systems, a property services firm said.

“In our opinion, a key contributor to rising hotel occupancy and tourist spending in the country is the rising number of Chinese arrivals,” Colliers International Philippines research manager Joey Roi Bondoc said in a quarterly market report.

“We believe that rising disposable incomes, relaxed visa rules, and aggressive promotions of low-cost flights are encouraging more tourists to travel outside of Mainland China,” he said.

Overall hotel occupancy in Metro Manila reached 71 percent in the first half of the year, higher than the 68 percent occupancy in the previous two quarters.

Based on data from the Department of Tourism, Chinese tourist arrivals in the first five months of the year surged 30.96 percent to 733,769, making it the country’s second largest source market of foreign arrivals.

“Developers have been responding to the growing arrivals from China by building more three to four-star hotels,” Bondoc said.

He cited DoubleDragon (DD) as one firm that has been encouraged by the influx of Chinese tourists as it is building more Hotel 101 and Jinjiang brand hotels across the country.

In a bid to get their share of the Chinese tourist market, Bondoc said developers should consider building more three-and four-star hotels, which may also cater to other major tourist markets such as the Koreans and Japanese.

“In our opinion, Quezon City remains a viable location due to the lack of quality accommodation in the area,” he said.

Colliers is also urging hotel developers and operators to monitor the increase in direct flights by Philippine and Chinese airlines.

“We recommend that hotel developers and operators constantly monitor these agreements to better capture the demand from the growing Chinese market,” Colliers said.

Moreover, Colliers also recommends the implementation of mobile payments at in-hotel retail outlets, noting that mobile payment schemes such as PayMaya and WeChat Pay are popular among Chinese travellers.

“Colliers recommends that hotel lobby retailers implement mobile and cashless payment systems that are particularly popular among Chinese tourists,” the report said.

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