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Bahamas 6th in region for hotel room growth

The Bahamas is sixth in the Caribbean in terms of countries expected to see the largest percentage of growth in hotel rooms.

Despite the 2200 new rooms slated to accompany the opening of the long-awaited Baha Mar resort, hotel market analysis firm STR Global’s latest Pipeline Report puts countries like Haiti and Turks and Caicos ahead of the increases expected in this market.

“Among the countries in the region, Haiti reported the largest expected growth(30 percent)if all 492 rooms in the total active pipeline open,”said an excerpt of the report, obtained byGuardian Business.”Other countries expecting strong growth include: St. Kitts/Nevis[at]13 percent expected growth with 235 rooms in the total active pipeline; Anguilla[at]12 percent with 80 rooms; Turks and Caicos[at]12 percent with 370 rooms; Bahamas[at]11 percent with 1,854 rooms and Dominica[at]11 percent with 78 rooms.”

The Pipeline Report gives a comprehensive look at new hotel development and existing supply. Explanations on how The Bahamas comes in towards the end of the list, despite having the most rooms coming on stream, was not provided. However, aGuardian Businessanalyst said the calculation is based on the number of available rooms currently in the market and what the growth would mean in the country.

Parris Jordan of HVS Consultants-a leading consulting and services organization focused on the hotel, restaurant, shared ownership, gaming, and leisure industries-said the additional branding that would come from the development of the$2.6 billion Baha Mar resort project would go a long way in keeping The Bahamas strong in the region.

According to him the hotel industry is cyclical in nature

and while there may not be a demand for an extra 3,000 rooms at present, the country needed to position itself to ensure that it would continue to be competitive once visitor arrivals returned to pre-recession levels.

“While some may argue that there may not be enough demand today to satisfy all of the new rooms that are planned to enter the market in the Bahamas, one can counteract that argument by saying that by 2013-when most experts expect the global economies to recover and we expect hotel performances to return to peak performance of 2007 will the Bahamas be positioned to compete with other destinations[and]in particular their main competitors?”

Jordan continued,”I believe the introduction of Baha Mar will benefit the overall destination in the long run. The additional marketing of Baha Mar, along with the marketing of the selected hotel operators, will definitely increase the awareness of the Bahamas as a destination.”

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