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December 25, 2009

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Banquets suffer in recession

THE global economic downturn has forced some hotels to take lavish Christmas banquets off the menu this year.

Many hotels are instead focusing on the promotion of more economical dinner packages or buffets, local tourism authorities said yesterday.

According to a Shanghai Tourism Administration survey of 81 luxury hotels in the city, 33 hotels were offering Christmas banquets this year, about 14 percent fewer than last year.

And the most expensive banquet was 2,010 yuan (US$294), about 600 yuan cheaper than last year.

Hotels said a shrinking market had persuaded them to offer buffet or dinner packages instead of banquets.

The price of the dinner packages are also cheaper than last year.

With fewer banquets, bookings are up with 85 percent booked, up 5 percentage points on the year. Bookings for packages or buffets, with more available, are down 11 percentage points.


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