25 Aug 2006

Tourist numbers decline in Northern Marianas

10:25 am on 25 August 2006

The hotel occupancy rate in the Northern Marianas declined in July to 64 percent, a drop of 10 percentage points from the 74 percent posted during the same month last year.

The Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands or HANMI says the lower rate is due primarily to the reduction in air services from Japan.

HANMI statistics, however, showed that average room rate increased to 93US dollars last month from the previous month's rate of 80 US dollars.

This is also an increase over July 2005 when the average room rate was 84 US dollars.

HANMI says the increased room rate is attributed to "seasonality" and to recent renovations and improvements in the hotel industry.

The group says the industry has collectively undertaken significant improvements totaling some 50 million US dollars in recent years.