Room revenue for Nassau/Paradise Island hotels may have finally eked past 2010 levels due to strong April and May performances, offsetting a disappointing January fall-off.
Preliminary statistics released by the Bahamas Hotel Association (BHA) and The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism (MoT) reveal a 0.6 percent increase in the year-to-date room revenue figure, with year-on-year increases of 9.6 percent for April and 5.8 percent for May. January saw room revenue fall 11.4 percent.
Responding to questions Guardian Business posed, BHA President Stuart Bowe said the negative impact of the recession began to reverse during the last quarter of 2010, with occupancy and arrivals numbers now moving into positive territory.
“The first five months of 2011 point to a more stable tourism climate [as] substantiated by a compilation of occupancy and spending data for our major Nassau-Paradise Island hotels,” said Bowe.
“We’ve stabilized over the past nine months, and while we’ve not fully recovered, we are moving in the right direction. Our concern should be that we all do everything that we can to ensure our visitors have an exceptional experience in The Bahamas. If we do that, full recovery should come sooner rather than later.”
Occupancy rates showed year-on-year growth for each of the five months except January, the year-to-date occupancy rate just off 2010’s first five months. January saw a 6.3 percent drop in the occupancy rate. By the end of May, the year-to-date difference had narrowed by 0.2 percent to 66.8 percent.
But while occupancy may have been up since February, hotels were not able to secure increases in average daily rates (ADR) until April, up $20.08 to 292.18 that month and up $11.23 to 219.86 in May. Year-to-date results to the end of May showed ADR of $255.25, up from 2010’s five month ADR of $253.42.
“Eight of the 14 hotels experienced revenue increases in May, with four of them showing double digit increases compared to May 2010,” read the summary performance report from the BHA and the MoT. “Five of these properties saw increases across the board, in ADR, in room nights sold and in revenue with four showing double digit revenue increases. Of the six properties experiencing declines in room revenues, five registered double digit decreases prompted in some by ADR declines and in others by room nights sold decreases.”
Interestingly, 2010’s strongest month for Nassau/Paradise Island stopover numbers was March. Preliminary data on web site tourismtoday.com showed 105,866 visitors that month. 2011’s March is now gone, up about 2.5 percent in occupancy rate for the month, but 2010’s next strongest stopover numbers were hit in June (99,789) and July (90,172). It suggests that if the trending increases in ADR and occupancy continue, there could still be a good overall impact in the year’s room revenue at Nassau-Paradise Island hotels.
The year is still far behind what many consider to be the new benchmark – 2008.
“Comparative figures for May 2008 show a 64.4% occupancy and $236.61 ADR. Room nights sold along with room revenue in May 2011 were 11.3% and 17.5% below 2008 levels. Comparative figures to the end of May 2008 show a 72.5% occupancy and $321.52 ADR. Room nights sold along with room revenue for January to May 2011 were 11.1% and 29.4% below 2008 levels,” read the release.
The Nassau Guardian
July 7, 2011