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On the back of a sharp rise in tourism in Ceará, Fortaleza hotels are registering high occupancy rates. In 2018, they reached the highest in the country, a position they are expected to repeat in 2019 as more tourists discover this part of Brazil.

Best occupancy rates

A recent report from Hotel Invest and the Association of Brazilian Hotel Operators (FOHB) looked at occupancy rates in 11 cities in the country during 2018. The results clearly place Fortaleza hotels well ahead of the rest.

In 2018, hotels in the capital of Ceará registered an average occupancy rate of 74%, the highest in the country. The average for Brazil came in at 62%, a full 12% less than Fortaleza. The second highest occupancy for hotels in Brazil was in Sao Paolo where they notched up a rate of 69%. Recife, also in Northeast Brazil, stood in third position with 66%.

Competitive Fortaleza hotels

Two reasons explain why Fortaleza hotels maintained a high average occupancy rates during 2018. One of them lies in the prices. Average room rates dropped to R$214 at the beginning of January 2016 and stayed within a similar price range until December last year. This competitive pricing pushed occupancy up 5% over the two years.

The Hotel Invest report forecasts that room rates for hotels in Fortaleza will see little change this year and remain within the R$214-220 price bracket. A similar rate of occupancy is expected for 2019 when Fortaleza will once again top the national ranking.

Fortaleza Airport hub

The other reason behind the excellent occupancy rates for hotels in Fortaleza lies in the recent surge in tourism in this part of Northeast Brazil. According to official statistics, Fortaleza Airport received almost 1 million passengers in Q1 this year.

Specifically, the number of passengers reached 923,808. International arrivals saw a spectacular increase – the total of 74,765 between January and March represents a 149.29% increase on the same period in 2018. Brazilian visitors also went up with domestic flights experiencing a 15% increase over the three months.

In May last year, Fortaleza Airport established the Air France / KLM flight hub with the introduction of new direct flights between Ceará and Europe. As a result, passenger traffic at the Airport went up by 103% between May 2018 and March 2019.

New Fortaleza hotels

The Hotel Invest report also looked at new investment in hotels in Brazil. By 2022, over 120 new hotels will open throughout the country. Between them, they will add almost 18,700 rooms and total R$4 billion in investment.

Ceará accounts for a small share of the new establishments. Three new hotels are due to open in the state over the next couple of years with 455 rooms. Others are, however, in the pipeline with new hotels in Fortaleza and on the coast. The latter include a Radisson-branded hotel at The Coral Resort on the beach at Trairi, to the north of Fortaleza.

(Source: O Povo, Lagoa)

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