NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Occupancy levels for many hotel properties are standing up against 2019 levels, according to Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association president Robert “Sandy” Sands.
Sands told Eyewitness News in an interview yesterday that 2019 was a banner year for the country’s tourism sector, which continues to see improvement.
“Occupancy trends throughout the archipelago differ, as influencing factors, such as airlift and loss or lack of inventory; impact certain islands occupancy levels; also Easter Holiday rates are at times difficult to compare with previous years occupancy rates they will be influenced by the date Easter falls on (i.e. whether or not Easter coincides with US school break); so you are not always comparing apples with apples when looking at some Holiday periods. Finally, one must remember that 2019 was a banner year for tourism,” Sands explained.
He said: “Generally speaking – New Providence and Family Islands are on a firm road to recovery; for Easter, many hotels are citing comparable occupancy figures; even against the 2019 banner year backdrop.”
Sands noted that for the Family Islands, where there is consistent, aligned and conveniently schedule airlift (scheduled in concert with Nassau), for instance for islands such as Eleuthera, Harbour Island, Abaco, Exuma islands – occupancies are meeting and even exceeding 2019 occupancies.
“Where airlift had been a challenge, occupancy levels have followed suit,” he added.
“Again, this is not true for all, Grand Bahama as an island destination, we know continues to face its challenges with embarking upon a sustained road to recovery; for Easter or otherwise and some family islands, where airlift issues exist; recovery is slower, and hotel occupancy rates struggle to revive. Also other segments are doing very well such as Airbnb, private boating etc.”
Sr. Business Reporter