Brazilian Tourism Booming as Hotel Occupany Rates Rise

Brazilian Tourism Booming as Hotel Occupany Rates Rise

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Hotel accommodation rates in samba friendly Rio de Janeiro have climbed a healthy 12 percent in the last 12-months as more tourists flock to the sunny regions of Brazil. Hotel chains like Accor and Marriott International have raised their daily rates on average by 5.5 percent in the first half of 2009. The highest they have been since 2005.

Rio on Fire

Smith Travel Research Inc. also released other interesting bits of data. While occupancy rates dropped by 7 percent nationwide, in Rio it rose 5.6 percent during the same time frame.

Occupancy rates in the U.S. fell 11 percent while hotel rates tumbled 8.7 percent. On European shores rates tumbled by a whopping 24 percent while occupancy declined by 9.8 percent.

Brazil Travel Happy

Marriott’s Chief Financial Officer, Carl Berquist said last week: Brazil is a good market. Travel there is driven a lot by local demand and has therefore done well. It has held up better than many others.”

While Europe and North America are still in the middle of the recession, Latin America is rebounding from its worst recession in 19 years.

Record low borrowing costs, domestic demand, tax cuts and an increase in government spending have all helped to contribute to this rapid regrowth. The expected growth rate for gross domestic product is said to be 4 percent next year.

If you want a standard hotel room in Rio de Janeiro’s Sofitel on Copacabana Beach, then expect to pay around $308.73 a night. For a more fancy premier suite you might have to take out a personal loan. They currently retail around $1,065.11.

Developments on the rise

Vice president of Smith Travel Research, Jan Freitag stated: “There are only a few countries that have positive rate growth right now. Larger metropolitan areas in Brazil are doing relatively better than other major city centers around the globe. It may be an indicator of strength in emerging markets.”

Only 12 percent of Brazil’s hotels are affiliated with international hotel chains. The rest is owned and operated by independent providers.

Brazil currently ranks third as South America’s hottest travel destination after Colombia and Peru, according to website Travelocity.

Many projects are underway according to a new LaSalle report. “We’ll start to see more larger-scale, 150-rooms-plus, hotels that will be mostly run by large international brands. The number of rooms in Brazil in the next five years will be evenly split between international brands and local independents,” said Rumpel.

Photo credits: InfoMofo via flickr

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