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Hotel room revenues up 7.5 percent

Total room revenues of hotels in Nassau and Paradise Island grew by 7.5 percent to$293.2 million compared to the same period last year, and the president of The Bahamas Hotel Association called it a step in the right direction.

Frank Comito toldGuardian Businessyesterday that the rise in room revenues is a positive indicator, and he is hopeful it will continue to improve.

“We have incremental improvement,”Comito said.”We’re not expecting a dramatic upturn in business but we are hopeful that we continue to show steady improvement.”

The figures were outlined the Central Bank of The Bahamas’Monthly Economic Financial Developments report for October. The report is optimistic about the tourism figures, mentioning the slight turnaround in the U.S. market.

“Preliminary indicators for the January to September period showed an upturn in tourism activity, as the sector benefitted from the incipient recovery in the United States market, as well as public and private sector promotional efforts to boost occupancy rates.”The report also revealed that higher numbers of stopover tourists resulted in a 2.5 percent rise in average occupancy rates to 66 percent, with a similar increase in the average daily room rate to$236.62.”We’re certainly not where we were at prior to the recession, but we are moving in a positive direction and there are indications that 2011 will continue to show modest improvement,”Comito said.”That being said, we’re still in a vulnerable state globally… and while we’re encouraged by what we are seeing we’re still cautiously optimistic.”During the first eight months of 2010 average occupancies increased 3.1 percent to 69.3 percent compared to the same period in 2009. Average room rates rose by 2.8 percent to$241.06. Those figures were revealed in the Central Bank’s Monthly Economic Financial Developments report for September, which noted that promotional campaigns aimed at boosting stopover arrivals were an important factor in the growth.

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