Grant Thornton's Vietnam Hotel Survey 2016 notes decline in standard industry measurement.
A standard industry measurement (RevPAR) of room utilization and return, experienced a downturn of 8.6 per cent from $59.3 in 2014 to $54.2 in 2015, according to the Vietnam Hotel Survey 2016 released by Grant Thornton on July 6.
The change in RevPAR was primarily caused by a fall in average room rates from $87.2 to $72.3.
The analysis of upscale hotels was performed by star ranking, region, and hotel size. In terms of star ranking, four-star hotels experienced a downward trend in average room rates of 17.1 per cent, from $87.2 to $72.3. Five-star hotels saw better performance, recording 1.2 per cent growth, with average room rates increasing to $111.4 in 2015 from $110.1 in 2014.
Regarding annual average occupancy rates, the rate for upscale hotels increased slightly, by 1.2 percentage points, from 60.3 per cent to 61.5 per cent, and by 1.6 percentage points, from 61.1 per cent to 62.7 per cent, for four-star and five-star hotels, respectively.
The upscale hospitality sector saw poor performance in 2015, with an overall EBITDA of 29.7 per cent; 4.3 per cent lower than in 2014. The downturn was due to changes in cost structure. It was particularly affected by an increase in total departmental expenses and other operating expenses, by 3.6 per cent and 2 per cent, respectively.
Regarding purpose of stay, individual tourists, tour groups and business travelers were the three most prominent segments for upscale hotels in 2015, with 35.6 per cent, 28.8 per cent and 13.5 per cent, respectively. The most noticeable change was in business travelers, which declined 5 per cent.
In reservation channels, there were more online sales in 2015 than in 2014 although traditional travel agencies and direct booking remained the two most common approaches for hotel reservations. The percentage for both traditional travel agencies and direct booking fell by 5.3 per cent and 4.9 per cent, respectively, while the proportion of online sales increased 4.9 per cent.
Vietnam welcomed 7.9 million international visitors last year, less than the forecast of 8.3 million set by Vietnam National Administration of Tourism. It was an increase of 0.9 per cent but lower than the 4 per cent growth recorded in 2014. The survey also revealed a decline in the proportion of international guests staying at four- and five-star hotels, which was 81 per cent, or 2 per cent lower than in 2014.
Despite declining growth in international arrivals, Vietnam’s hospitality sector earned VND338 trillion ($15 billion) in 2015, higher than the $10.75 billion recorded in 2014, due to significant growth in domestic visitors, by 48 per cent to 57 million.
The Vietnam Hotel Survey 2016 marks the 13th consecutive year Grant Thornton has conducted the only comprehensive research on high-end hotels and resorts in Vietnam. Similar to last year, in this year’s survey Grant Thornton did not include three-star hotels because of the level of response and change in hotel mix in this category, focusing instead on the upscale hotel industry, covering four- and five-star hotels.