HK hotels ready to increase room rates(2)


HONG KONG - With hotel occupancy rates bouncing back to pre-SARS figures, several leading hotels here said they are ready to increase their room rates again.

Giovanni Angelini, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts CEO and managing director,

Said that after decreasing their room rates for the past "two to three years because of falling demand", they are in a position to start increasing their rates again based on the occupancy rates stats in the past few months, which indicated that demand is in the upswing again.

Tour operators said that high hotel costs would compound the problem of scarcity of rooms.

There are those, however, who saw the situation as market forces at work.

"Whether the price is increasing or decreasing, the level of sales will determine the outcome," said Paul Chiu, managing director of PC Tours & Travel. "If the market is receptive, then market will try until there is resistance."

He said other suppliers, such as land transportation, have started increasing their rates although minimally.

Since the rates have been falling for the past two to three years, "it is only fair that everybody looks at better rates until market settles down," he said.

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