By Marion Ali, Assistant Editor
Despite the constraints on the global economy, overnight tourism in the Caribbean is expected to provide decent returns in 2017, following a year that fared well.
More than four out of five (81 percent) of hoteliers in the region have an encouraging outlook for tourism in 2017, according to Frank Comito, Director General and CEO of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA).
Although room occupancy decreased for just more than half (51 percent) of the hotels in 2016, 29 percent of them reported an increase in occupancy. More hoteliers are optimistic for 2017, with two-thirds expecting an increase in occupancy.
In presenting the industry’s Performance and Outlook Study, Comito said “…about 55 percent of hotels also increased capital expenditures in 2016, with a quarter of those investing more than 10 percent over what they did in 2015. “This is a positive sign and an indication of long-term confidence by Caribbean hoteliers in the industry.”
Average daily room rates (ADR) were reduced by 45 percent of hotels in 2016, but as many as 42 percent increased their rates. While for 2017 some 55 percent of hoteliers expect to increase ADR, only 15 percent expect to reduce their rates because of the economy.
In 2016, only 17 percent in the hotel industry reduced staff, but 28 percent hired more employees. This pattern is expected to spill over this year.
The survey was conducted to assist CHTA gain a better understanding of the state of the tourism economy, its outlook, and the degree to which a number of factors impact or may affect the tourism industry.
It looked at at the hotels’ performance in 2016 and their 2017 expectations for factors in areas such as employment levels, revenue, profits, capital spending, room occupancy, and rates, each forming the basis for assessing the state of the tourism economy.