Visitor numbers hit by diverse factors

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 20 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 20 June, 2012, 12:00am


Sanya's hospitality sector has had a relatively quiet few months, with hotels in Yalong Bay and downtown reacting to a number of key issues.

Mark Holmes, general manager of the Park Hyatt, which is under construction, has been keeping his ear to the ground.

'Business is slower than in previous years, but there are a number of factors such as an increase in supply, especially with Haitang Bay's new hotels, the strong Chinese currency making other international cities more attractive, and the ease with which Chinese nationals now secure visas to other countries,' Holmes says.

'There is also weaker government business as the change of leadership [later this year] is a primary factor. Sanya Tourism Bureau is working closely with the hotels and is very supportive in exploring all avenues to increase awareness and the number of guests visiting Sanya. Other than golf and beaches, Sanya needs to establish attractions that will entice guests.'

The Park Hyatt on Sunny Bay will have 208 rooms and is near Yalong Bay where many international resorts are established.

The Sheraton Sanya Resort, one of the longest established hotels on Yalong Bay, has hosted dignitaries, celebrities and even the Miss World competition.

General manager Wolfgang Boettcher says: 'The increase in hotels has not deterred us and we set ourselves as the benchmark in delivering quality services to our guests each and every time.

'We maintain a positive attitude on the developments in Sanya, despite the economic changes. The Chinese economy continues to make positive growth, which is prevalent in the tourism statistics; supported by preferential policies and promotional activities in Sanya and on Hainan Island, paving the way towards becoming an international tourism destination.'

Opened in 2004, Sanya Marriott Resort & Spa made a good start to the year with revenue increasing 3.2 per cent in the first four months due to the steady meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions business and leisure travel, according to general manager Edmund Ko. The hotel has 73 per cent of its visitors coming from the mainland, 13 per cent from Russia and 2.4 per cent from Hong Kong, while the rest were mainly from Europe.

'Our hotel has the only outdoor meeting room in Sanya and beautiful scenery in the tropical garden which has been a preferred venue for VIP conferences since its launch in January 2011.

'We have the only oceanfront beach chapel for weddings and celebrations. Since opening in early 2011 it has already become a landmark for beach weddings across China.'

Ko foresees 2012 being a challenging year. 'We will continue to provide up-to-date innovative facilities and world-class service. Our Marriott Cafe and guest rooms will be completely renovated and we will make an effort to reward staff demonstrating work habits that go the extra mile,' he says.