Doubt over coming winter season
There is some uncertainty about the kind of winter tourism season Barbados will have.
Colin Jordan, president of the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association, told the BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY: “Many hotels already have some bookings from repeat guests, but we don’t really have an idea about where fall or the upcoming winter is going to end.”
He noted that tourism arrivals were up by just over three per cent while for the vast majority of hotels, guest revenue was down.
Jordan said many hotels already had some bookings from repeat guests, “but we don’t really have an idea about where fall or the upcoming winter is going to end”.
He explained: “This is due to a number of factors. People are staying shorter periods of time but, significantly, those who are coming are spending less.”
Jordan said the outlook for September and October was “a little slow at this point”, and added that because of a trend towards late bookings, it was difficult to determine whether it would be slow “going forward”.
The president therefore welcomed this month’s World Boxing Championships in Barbados, which he said would give September a “bit of a boost”.
However, he was unclear about the numbers expected for this event and though he could give no definitive figure on bookings, Jordan believed any bookings would enhance arrival figures in what is traditionally a bad month.
“It really speaks to the importance of not just sports tourism, but sports working with tourism.”
Meanwhile, the BHTA president said some hotels were “trying to spruce up their properties for the coming winter season”.
“I don’t think we are going to see major renovations, given the state of people’s cash flow.”
“But people are still trying to make their properties bright for the winter and some are doing work in terms of their bathrooms; one or two are looking to change soft furnishings.”
According to Jordan, hotels in the Elegant group were the only properties undergoing major renovations, while The Sandpiper Hotel in St James had started “pretty significant work”. (GC)