ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands—The recession has hit the Caribbean hotel industry particularly hard, but there are a few bright spots worth noting. This data was gathered for the Small Hotels Retreat held by the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association.
For small Caribbean hotels with 75 guestrooms or less, August 2009 year-to-date data revealed revenue-per-available-room declines across the board—at an average drop of 17.1 percent. However, RevPAR for the region’s hotel industry in general was down 22.9 percent, and competitor regions such as Florida and Hawaii were down 18.8 percent and 21.3 percent, respectively. Demand and occupancy changes, while still negative, are faring better than 2008 for this subsection of the region.
Average daily rate for August YTD painted a similar picture. Small hotels posted declines of 8.5 percent, and the entire Caribbean was down 17.3 percent. Some other regions greatly affected by rate decline were the North Mediterranean, which was down 18.2 percent in the measure, and Australia’s Gold Coast, which was down 23.0 percent.
The Caribbean has a total of 62 projects comprising nearly 12,500 guestrooms in the pipeline, ranging from the pre-planning to construction phases of development.
Caribbean Pipeline (August YTD)