Nassau/Pi Hotels Enjoy 18% Room Revenues Growth

Tuesday, 03 March 2020 07:20 News Admin
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Major Nassau/Paradise Island resorts shrugged off a modest one percent room revenue fall-off in December to post an 18 percent gain for the 2019 full year, it was revealed yesterday.

The Central Bank of The Bahamas, in its monthly economic update for January 2020, revealed that the post-Hurricane Dorian impact had only slightly weakened the gains posted by New Providence’s tourism industry earlier in the year.

However, the category five storm’s impact was more pronounced in the vacation rental and second home market that Abaco traditionally thrives on. Total room nights sold on the island during January dropped by almost one-third year-over-year, with bookings for entire places and hotel comparables down by 32.4 percent and 24.5 percent, respectively.

“Developments within the hotels segment reinforce a comparatively subdued month of December outcome, but with the overall uptrend secured for the calendar year,” the Central Bank said. “Information provided by the Bahamas Hotel & Tourism Association (BHTA) and the Ministry of Tourism showed a one percent fall-off in room revenue for Nassau and Paradise Island properties during the month, but an 18 percent gain for the year.

“The contrast reflected negative marketing pressures that the industry was still steadily countering since the hurricane. For the year, properties sustained gains in the both number of room nights sold of 11 percent, and in the average daily rate of 6.5 percent to $266.92, while the average occupancy rate rose by 5.4 percentage points to 67.1 percent.”

Drawing on information provided by AirDNA for January 2020, the Central Bank revealed that in the vacation rental market there was “a 5.3 percent decline in the total room nights sold, fuelled by a 6.1 percent decrease in bookings for entire place listings, which outstripped the 0.9 percent rise in hotel comparable bookings.

“In addition, the average daily room rate (ADR) for both entire place listings and hotel comparables contracted by 9.6 percent and 1.5 percent to $371.75 and $153.07, respectively. An analysis of the short-term rental data by island indicated that reductions in total room nights sold were led by the storm-ravaged Abaco market (32.1 percent).....

“In the New Providence market, bookings fell by 6.3 percent, underpinned by reductions of 6.7 percent for entire place bookings and 4.5 percent for hotel comparable listings. In Grand Bahama, entire place listings and hotel comparable listings declined by 5.1 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively,” the Central Bank added.

“Conversely, in Exuma, data for bookings varied, as room nights sold for entire place listings weakened by 5.7 percent, while room nights sold for hotel comparable grew by 10.4 percent.”

Turning to the arrivals figures, the Central Bank said January and December 2019 growth was down on prior year comparisons in Hurricane Dorian’s wake.

“The latest data provided by the Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD) showed that total departures from the country’s main airport for the month of January - net of domestic passengers - firmed by 6.1 percent, but was markedly lower than last year’s 22.1 percent growth,” the Central Bank said.

“Underlying this development, the dominant US component rose by 6 percent after the previous year’s 24.5 percent expansion. Further, non-US departures grew by 6.4 percent relative to an 11.1 percent gain a year earlier.”

Going back to December 2019, the Central Bank added: “Official data provided by the Ministry of Tourism revealed that total foreign arrivals for the month of December 2019 rose by 5.3 percent, but was below the 10 percent growth recorded in the prior year.

“Specifically, the sea segment grew by 8.9 percent following a growth of 9.2 percent in 2018. In contrast, air arrivals declined by 6.9 percent, a reversal from a 12.7 percent expansion a year earlier.”

Neil Hartnell,
The Tribune
March 3, 2020