Caribbean hotel rates climb to pre-recession peak
Caribbean hotel rates are continuing to nudge their way towards the pre-recession peak due to a lack of new builds, according to research presented at the Caribbean Hotels and Tourism Association Marketplace in Puerto Rico.
US research firm STR Analytics said average daily rates in December 2014 had reached $195, compared with the peak of $201 in January 2008. STR, which receives data from a third of all the Caribbean's properties, found average occupancy of 68%, compared with 70.4% at the pre-recession peak.
STR estimates that the Caribbean has only 15 firm hotel construction projects, although another 25 are in the planning stage. Significant openings include the Baha Mar in The Bahamas, with 981 rooms and the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, with around 800 rooms, plus Jamaica's Grand Palladium with 850 rooms. Hennis warned that such large properties would necessitate an increase in airlift to fill them.
The effect on the region of the opening of Cuba to more US tourism was difficult to assess, he admitted. ■