After four years of weathering the economic recession, one of the country’s leading hotel properties has reported a marked increase in group business.
The recession forced many foreign companies to scale back on holding conventions and other events in The Bahamas, which put a pinch on revenues at resort properties in The Bahamas.
However, a top Atlantis official has revealed that group business, is now back up.
“Group business has come back up considerably,” Kerzner International Senior VP of Public Affairs & Retail Services Ed Fields said.
While the resort is excited about the upswing, it continues to pursue additional profitable markets.
When group business tapered off Atlantis had to find other ways to generate business.
“With regard to group business we had to make adjustments. You don’t just sit back and say ‘oh me, oh my.’ So, when that happened we realised that we had to figure out a way to get heads in beds,” he said.
To fill the void, the resort decided to bring in international entertainers to attract guests.
“So then we went into the entertainment side to make up for the loss of group business. We discovered that the entertainment side is also a good way of bringing people in so we’ll continue to do those types of things. We also have to look at the viability of it all. Some people just cost too much,” he said.
While the resort has found the entertainment industry to be a profitable market, it is cognisant of its competitors.
The new multi-billion dollar Baha Mar Resort is expected to give Atlantis a run for its money once it is complete.
According to Mr. Fields, Atlantis is prepared.
“The reality is we’re in business. It is not a mystery that anytime you have competition you are not the only fish in the sea anymore. So, you look at the fact that you have competition and you strategise to be the best product you could be and to maintain your occupancy levels,” he said.
“In some instances, we work together to make sure that we could get airlift into the country, so there are certain things that we cooperate on yes we are going to be in a more competitive market, so that means that our executive team, our management team, our staff have to work a little bit hard to make sure the product you’re experiencing this weekend is to such a level that we can exist in a competitive market.”
While a significant portion of Atlantis’ revenue is derived from international markets, Mr. Fields believes that Bahamians can contribute to the resort’s success as well.
“When we think about the summer, most people they pack up their kids, they get the luggage, they get the rental car, they get the hotel and they go to Disney World, but it’s cheaper to come here,” he said.