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Slight increase inhotel occupancy

Hotels in the Nassau and Paradise Island market saw a slight improvement in occupancy levels in 2010 by nearly 2 percent–even as they charged more for those room nights than in 2009.

The information–cataloguing the data of 14 hotels–was revealed in preliminary statistics provided by The Bahamas Hotel Association and The Ministry of Tourism. Those properties saw a 62.6 percent occupancy rate for 2010 compared to 60.9 percent in 2009, while the 2010 average daily rate(ADR)totaled$231.96 in comparison to the year-earlier$227.63, reflecting an increase by$4.33 or 1.9 percent.

“While marginal increases were realized for the year, the pace of improvement slowed in the final quarter, underscoring the importance of continued caution, aggressive marketing and providing exceptional value for what we offer in an extremely competitive global tourism marketplace,”said BHA President Stuart Bowe.”The industry and the Ministry of Tourism are cognizant of this and continue to collaborate on initiatives aimed at moving the needle in the right direction.”

Last year’s results are still not at the levels seen in 2008, with comparative figures for 2008 showing a 63.4 percent occupancy and an ADR of$246.70. Room nights sold along with room revenue in 2010 were below 2008 by 6 percent and 11.7 percent respectively, according to information from the BHA.

Nine of the fourteen properties ended 2010 with room revenue above the numbers recorded in 2009 and of those, seven saw improved revenue from similar or higher ADRs and boosts in room nights sold. A four percent hike in air arrivals to Nassau for the period ending in November may have also added to that boost.

The higher ADR formula apparently did not work for all, with three properties that tried to generate higher revenue levels through increased ADRs only registering a decline in the sale of room nights and room revenue, according to a release accompanying the preliminary statistics.

“There was a definite slowing of the pace in the last quarter, reflecting mostly the timeout and blackout periods for the Companion Fly Free Program and a high number of weather-related cancellations around the Christmas holidays,”the release highlighted.”Also, hotels were performing against the backdrop of the last quarter in 2009 when the first indications of a stabilization from the recession started.”

The fourth quarter in 2010 saw a 1.2 percent increase in room revenue, compared to a 6.7 percent increase in the first quarter, a 5.2 percent increase in the second quarter and a 11.8 percent increase in the third quarter. The fourth quarter was the only quarter in 2010 where a decline in ADR occurred of 1.2 percent, compared to increases of 2.2 percent, 1.9 percent and 4.9 percent for the first, second and third quarters respectively.

“The December ADR in 2010 was below 2009. December’s occupancy stood at 55 percent, ADR at$267.10 and room nights sold and room revenue 2 percent and 1.2 percent(respectively) above 2009 levels,”said the release.”This compared to 54 percent and$269.20 in 2009. The December 2008 occupancy rate stood at 50.4 percent with a$236.55 ADR and 2010 room nights sold and room revenue at 7.2 percent and 21 percent(respectively)above 2008 levels.”

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