Hotel officials around the country have a reason to smile today as occupancy levels increased even as rates remain suppressed.
According to preliminary statistics released from the Bahamas Hotel Association (BHA) and the Ministry of Tourism, 14 major New Providence hotels recorded an 81.9 per cent occupancy rate for April compared to the 74 .1 per cent over the same period last year.
Officials said a higher revenue figure increase was thwarted by April 2012’s average daily room rate of $272.93, which was $17.51 lower than in April 2011.
Ten of the 14 hotels experienced revenues increases in April with four of them showing double digit increases.
“Of the four properties, three achieved increased revenues through increases in ADR and room nights sold, while the rest achieved higher revenue primarily through higher room nights sold. In fact, lower ADRs dominated with nine of 14 properties,” officials said in a press statement released yesterday.
BHA President Stuart Bowe said occupancy rates continue to move in the right direction and that many of the reporting hotels occupancies are now achieving pre-recessional levels.
But hotels are still concerned.
“However, competitive pressures continue to restrict our ability to increase our ADR and this remains a concern for the hotels,” Mr. Bowe said. “It is clear that our promotional investments and the airfare offers are generating business and there is a positive buzz in the marketplace.”
Officials say April’s performance continues a positive trend, which started last fall.
“January to April ended with a 73.9 per cent occupancy rate compared to 68.5 per cent last year. The ADR was $259.77 compared to $263.39 with the room nights sold and room revenue increasing by 8.9 per cent and 7.4 per cent respectively,” BHA said.
Officials said the January to April performance finished with 11 properties registering increased revenues.
In addition, officials said of the 11 properties with increased revenues, 10 saw these revenues surpluses generated through increases in room nights sold. Eight properties show lower ADRs through the end of April.
Comparative figures for April 2008 show a 75.1 occupancy and $286.56.
Officials say room nights sold along with room revenue in April 2012 were 5.3 per cent and 0.3 per cent – about $150,000 above 2008.
“Comparative figures for January to April 2008 show a 66.2 per cent occupancy and $260.68 ADR. Room nights sold along with room revenue for January to April 2012 were still 3.2 per cent and 11.2 per cent below 2008, however trending positive,” officials said.
Last week, while speaking with Journal Business, Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe said he was disappointed with tourism’s performance over the last few years and indicated that there is a lot of work to be done.
“The truth is that we have lost a lot of our market share in Florida and New York. We have to find a way to get back in there. That’s about 400,000 visitors we have lost a year and we have to work more on the airlift and so we are looking at all of the realities that we face,” he said.