World Expo Boosts Shanghai's Hotel Numbers

Shanghai's hotels are back, and they have the Shanghai World Expo to thank for it.

Performance results released by STR Global show an average room rate of approximately $142 for the month of May 2010, which has not been seen since October 2008.

Surprisingly, the five-star market recorded an occupancy of 79 percent at an average rate of $308 per night for the month of May, resulting in RevPAR growth of 105 percent when compared to May of last year. This comes as a pleasant surprise when initially there was doubt as to how much the Expo would affect the luxury market. It was predicted that the mid-level market would be impacted more.

Prior to the Expo's kickoff, Shanghai hoteliers expressed a positive outlook for the event, according to the Horwath HTL Global Market Sentiment Survey, but they never expected the numbers to be this good, says Zoe Wu, director of Horwath HTL's Shanghai office.

"Let's hope Shanghai is in for a glorious 2010 and the gloomy times of 2008 and 2009 are well behind us," Wu says.

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