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New Okinawa hotels opening; supply to far exceed demand

Date Posted: 2009-09-24

Tourism travel is down, thanks to a combination of economic issues and influenza concerns, but a spate of new hotels have opened in Okinawa, and more are on the horizon.

Still, nine new hotels are open or preparing to open in Naha City, and another six are under construction and slated to open in 2010. The influx of new hotels is adding hundreds of rooms to an already saturated market, plunging occupancy rates to below 60%. July was the best month of the year for hotels in Okinawa, but still the overall occupancy rate was only 72.8%, leaving investors and hoteliers worried about what’s in store for the coming year. Businessmen using hotels accounted for only 54% of occupancy.

The number of new hotels has been increasing since 2004, despite some projects cancelled by lack of investor funding. The Okinawa General Bureau Affairs Office says room rates during the January ~ March period averaged ¥16,117, while the rate increased to ¥16,889 during April ~ June as hotels tried to make up and cover costs. Officials say hotels are going to have to increase services or increase prices to offset the rising operating costs.

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