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Are traditional Barbados holidays and the hotel industry at risk?

  • 12-May-10 13:38
  • Barbados
  • Caribbean Net News

The traditional Barbados hotel could be dying out as more luxury high end properties and resorts are being introduced into the Caribbean region to attract the wealthier travellers who expect more on their Barbados holidays.

Are traditional Barbados holidays and the hotel industry at risk?

According to the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association's website, they represent "over 80% of the total room stock on the island" which is divided into three categories. These days, the luxury 'A' and 'B' Class include large resorts and hotels in Barbados as well smaller properties, apartments, and even guest houses, leaving little room for a traditional Barbados hotel which offers a simpler yet authentic travel experience for travellers on Barbados holidays.

The average occupancy levels in Barbados hotels during 2009 are as follows:

January 54%
February 82%
March 66%
April 56%
May 48%
June 34%
July 32%
August 24%
September 45%
October 63%
November 65%
December 69%

These statistics, together with the statement on Barbados Hotels and Tourism Association's website regarding representing all registered properties in Barbados, show that over 3,094 rooms in Barbados hotel were empty every single night of 2009.

The figures are alarming for tourism officials and businesses specialising in tourism in Barbados, particularly as occupancy levels in the first quarter of 2010 do not look much more encouraging. January was the only month which saw a rise in tourists taking Barbados breaks, with many of these choosing all inclusive Barbados holidays. However, February, usually the island's busiest month, saw a decrease in visitors from 82% during the same period in 2009 to 63% this year.

There are a number of Barbados hotels which are still operating despite not being registered with the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association, a legal requirement, and occupancy figures cannot be included from these properties. Tourism officials are planning to put marketing strategies in place to encourage more visitors to the region but it seems that the traditional Barbados hotel could sadly a thing of the past as large international hospitality groups sweep into the region with their luxury properties and all inclusive resorts.

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