The 2019 Grant Thornton survey is the 16th consecutive year for this comprehensive study of high-end hotels and resorts. The Vietnam Hotel Survey revealed that 5-star hotels scored higher on various performance criteria than their 4-star counterparts.
A 5-star hotel in Saigon continues to be the hotel of choice despite a 4.1 percent increase in price between 2017 and 2018 with a 0.5 increase in occupancy. On the other hand, 4-star hotels saw a 2.3 percent decrease in price and yet still experienced a 1 percent decrease in occupancy. These increases on average are from US$107.6 in 2017 to $112 in 2018. By contrast, the decrease is from $75.2 per night to $73.4 per night.
The changes in these room rates consequently affected the revenue per available room (RevPAR) with 5-star hotels going up to $83.4 in 2018 from $79.1 IN 2017, while 4-star hotels decreased by 3.6 percent. Although both types of hotels experienced a decrease in bookings through channels such as tour operators and travel agencies, 4-star hotels saw the biggest drop at 7.1 percent, while 5-star hotels experienced only a 2.8 percent drop.
The survey revealed that 5-star hotels seem to be more open to digital developments in their operations with 95.5 percent of them applying data mining and analysis, while only 77.8 percent of 4-star hotels confirmed to have been doing the same.Mobile apps are also a new tool that 54.5 percent of 5-star hotels are utilizing, while 4-star hotels only have a figure of 34.6 percent. Checking in and out online are available in 42.9 percent of 5-star hotels, but only 28.6 percent for 4-star hotels. Social media such as Facebook is used by 100 percent of 5-star hotels and 96.3 of 4-star hotels.
In 2018, a total of 2,400 new accommodations were registered at the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism. Out of that number of accommodations, 83 properties fall under the 3- to 5-star categories. The 83 properties are equal to 22,419 keys: 34 properties of 17,366 keys are 5-star hotels and 15 properties of 2,990 keys are 4-star.
The rise of 5-star accommodations and the fall of 4-star ones are apparent in the Grant Thornton survey. Across different performance criteria, results show that guests are more likely to choose a 5-star hotel in Saigon and other such locations in Vietnam than they are a 4-star one because of upgrades and modernization, regardless of price increases.