Major Hotels At 82% Occupancy For April

Occupancy numbers are up by nearly eight percent for the 14 major hotels in New Providence, continuing the positive trend seen in the industry since the beginning of the year.

Promising numbers for the country’s tourism industry were revealed yesterday by the Bahamas Hotel Association (BHA) and the Ministry of Tourism.

“The 14 major New Providence hotels recorded an 81.9 percent occupancy rate for April 2012 compared to 74.1 percent in April 2011. Room revenue increased by 3.5 percent despite a 10.8 percent increase in room nights sold,” according to the report.

“A higher revenue figure increase was thwarted by the April 2012 average daily room rate (ADR) of $272.93 that was $17.51 lower than in April 2011.”

While room occupancy rates are increasing, Stuart Bowe, BHA president, confirmed to Guardian Business that the ability to increase ADR remains a concern for hotels.

“Competitive pressures continue to restrict our ability to increase our ADR and this remains a concern for the hotels,” he explained. “It is clear that our promotional investments and the airfare offers are generating business and there is a positive buzz in the marketplace.”

That said, Bowe added that occupancy rates “continue to move in the right direction”, with some hotels now hitting pre-recession levels.

The report also stated that 10 of the 14 hotels experienced increased revenues last month, with four recording double digit increases.

Last month’s performance is a continuation of a positive trend which began last fall.

Overall, occupancy rates have increased for the first quarter of 2012, ending at 73.9 percent in comparison to 68.5 percent last year.

“The ADR was $259.77 compared to $263.39 with the room nights sold and room revenue increasing by 8.9 percent and 7.4 percent, respectively. The January to April performance finished with 11 properties registering increased revenues. Of the 11 properties with increased revenues, 10 saw these revenue surpluses generated through increases in room nights sold. Eight properties show lower ADRs through the end of April,” the report added.

These latest numbers come weeks after an 84.3 percent occupancy rate was recorded during the month of March. In March 2001, the occupancy rate was 80.1 percent. At the time, room revenue increased by eight percent along with a 4.8 percent increase in room nights sold.

Bowe said: “We are encouraged by the year over year results. However, we are still constrained by international competitive pressures on room rates and hope to see revenues return to pre-recession levels soon.”

Scieska Adderley
The Nassau Guardian
Published: May 30, 2012