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Higher occupancy rates anticipated by Bahamas hotels

  • 15-Mar-12 11:14
  • Bahamas
  • Caribbean News Digital

Higher occupancy rates are expected by Bahamas-based hoteliers as 85 percent look forward to levels rising this year. Opposed to the low number of tourists taking Bahamas holidays in 2008 and 2009, hoteliers expect a significant rise in occupancy in 2012.

Higher occupancy rates anticipated by Bahamas hotels

According to a Smith Travel Research report commissioned by the Bahamas Hotel Association (BHA), Bahamas-based hoteliers are anticipating increased occupancy in 2012, as 85 per cent predict higher levels this year. In spite of the struggles the country’s tourism industry suffered in earlier years (2008 and 2009), it is expected that more travellers take Bahamas holidays from now on.

The optimistic report surveyed a total of 22 large and petite Bahamas hotels in the regions of Nassau, the capital, Grand Bahama and the Family Islands. After 70 per cent of hoteliers reported increased occupancy levels in 2011 in comparison to 2010, they are looking forward to a significant boost in 2012, overall after the challenging years of 2008 and 2009, when hoteliers declared occupancy declines of 78 and 85 per cent respectively.

Stuart Bowe, BHA’s president, expressed his positivity about the Bahamas tourism industry this year, although he acknowledges that there are still many issues to work through. “While we are encouraged,” he said “It is clear that many businesses are not yet out of the woods. The profitability picture is further constrained because higher airfares have forced hoteliers to restrain from increasing prices, and to invent more resources in marketing and promotional offers. Had we not invested more in marketing and promotions during the past year, we would not have seen the reported incremental improvements in business.”

 Bahamas Beach Resorts
Image by: Salvatore Serafino, on Flickr

The report also discovered that 55 per cent of the properties that were polled realised increase revenues last year, while 72 per cent predict further growth in 2012. This recent revenue increase is a complete turnaround from the results obtained in 2009, when 85 per cent of the surveyed hotels reported a decline in revenue and 62 per cent declared a significant decrease in revenue.

Even when only 9 per cent of hoteliers were able to report growth in room rates in 2011, 50 per cent now say they are anticipating price rises in 2012, according to the Smith Travel Research Report. The country’s tourism industry has been recovering slowly since 2010. Stuart Bowe looks optimistically to the future and states his belief that rates will grow as more tourists take holidays in Bahamas this year.

 Bahamas View
Image by: Timothy Shea, on Flickr

“Since 2010, the industry has recorded marginal gains in revenue, occupancy and customer satisfaction,” said Mr. Bowe “This is most evident in 2011 performance reports and projections for 2012 improvements in sales, occupancy, room rates and capital spending, as well as, reports by some hotels increased employment levels. We are clearly moving in the right direction.”

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