Hotel rooms still cheaper than before financial crisis
Hotel rooms in the Caribbean are still cheaper than before the financial crisis, despite occupancy returning to pre-crash levels, writes TTG Digital’s Gary Noakes in Montego Bay.
Data revealed at Caribbean Travel Marketplace in Jamaica showed that average room rates in November throughout the Caribbean region were $180, up 5.2% year-on-year. That compares to more than $200 before 2007-8.
“We are expecting that it will be another 12-18 months before the market recovers to the peak,” Steve Hennis, director of the US-based research firm STR Analytics, said.
He added that hotel occupancy was currently 68-69%, slightly ahead of 2007-8 and “very strong” given the Caribbean’s seasonality. But occupancy will probably grow at only 2% this year and 1% the next.
The trend is clearly upwards, however. Dominican Republic, St Lucia and the British Virgin Islands have already reached pre-2007 levels and Jamaica is showing strong growth, recording two million visitors for the first time in 2013.
[pictured: Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort; courtesy Sandals Resorts International]