Short-term rentals market continues to thrive despite Dorian

While large hotels in the capital saw a slight fall-off in October following Hurricane Dorian, the short-term rentals market continued to thrive despite losing listings on Grand Bahama and Abaco.

According to The Central Bank of The Bahamas’ (CBOB) Monthly Economic and Financial Developments report for October, data on activity within the short-term rentals market revealed that overall output remained positive.

“However, the recent storm’s impact on the affected islands remained evident. In particular, total available listings firmed by 8.9 percent, relative to October 2018, amid growth in the Exuma and New Providence markets, which partly compensated for the declines in Grand Bahama and Abaco,” the MEFD report notes.

“Likewise, with higher engagements in New Providence and Exuma, total booked listings rose by 32.1 percent when compared to last year. Against this backdrop, the average daily room rate (ADR) for entire place listings gained 1.3 percent to $351.27, although the hotel comparable rate fell by 0.5 percent to $148.25.”

This positive growth for short-term rentals was offset by a five percent fall-off in room revenue for large hotels on New Providence and Paradise Island.

“Developments within the hotel market were also tepid for October. Information from the Bahamas Hotel & Tourism Association (BHTA) and the Ministry of Tourism (MOT) – which covers a sample of large hotels in New Providence and Paradise Island – showed a 5 percent falloff in room revenue during the month, despite the 5.9 percent increase in the average daily room rate to $190.39,” the CBOB report notes.

“This was due to a 10 percent decline in room nights sold, with the occupancy rate lower by 4.8 percentage points. In contrast, room revenue expanded by 24 percent during the ten months to October, amid respective gains in room nights sold and the ADR of 21 percent and 8.2 percent, while the average occupancy rate rose by 7.1 percentage points to 68.7 percent.”

In all, the central bank reported that despite Hurricane Dorian, tourism output remained positive for The Bahamas.

“In terms of traffic through the country’s gateway airport, data from Nassau Airport Development Company Limited (NAD) revealed a recovery in departures vis-à-vis September’s contraction, with 1.7 percent growth year-over-year in October, but this was markedly lower than the 19.1 percent expansion during the same period in 2018. In particular, the U.S. component grew by 2.6 percent, significantly lower than the 17.2 percent growth in the prior year,” the bank noted.

“However, the non-U.S. international segment contracted by 3.7 percent, contrasting with a 31.6 percent increase a year ago. Amid the strong gains secured in earlier months, departures rose 14.2 percent, on a year-to-date basis, compared to a 13.8 percent increase a year earlier. By region, U.S. departures, which are highest in volume, grew by 15.5 percent, extending the 13 percent growth recorded in 2018. Conversely, the non-U.S. international component rose by 6.2 percent, a slowdown from an 18.8 percent growth a year earlier.”

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Paige McCartney

Paige joined The Nassau Guardian in 2010 as a television news reporter and anchor. She has covered countless political and social events that have impacted the lives of Bahamians and changed the trajectory of The Bahamas. Paige started working as a business reporter in August 2016. Education: Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2006 with a BA in Radio and Television News

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