Butterfly invests $500 000 to stay afloat
OPERATORS OF the Butterfly Beach Hotel have pumped approximately $500 000 into the development of the property in an effort to stay competitive.
However, Mark Kent, general manager of the 93-room Maxwell, Christ Church property, admitted that he was not too optimistic that things would improve in any hurry for the industry.
“Last year was a good year for the Butterfly. This year we have noticed a downturn and the summer ahead looks challenging but we are doing what we can to stay afloat and have just reinvested in the property,” he told BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY.
“I don’t see much light really at the end of the tunnel. It is a very last-minute market in our industry, so it is very hard to forecast. The summer now looks quite bad . . . . We try to combat that by offering discounts for booking in advance rather than trying to offer sales for last-minute booking,” he said.
Kent was quick to point out, however, that he was expecting full occupancy for the rest of the Crop Over season, adding that repeat guests formed a large part of the business for the three-star hotel property.
Besides low bookings, Kent said there was increased competition both locally and internationally, along with “pressure on prices from our competitors as well as some of our partners”.
Butterfly Beach Resort currently employs 55 people and Kent said the hotel had not laid off any employees.
In order to tackle the challenges, Kent, who has been in the industry for the past 15 years, said the investment in the South Coast property was critical.
“We spend the money to improve and maintain the product. We have a tight rein on cost. We do direct advertising and work with tour operating partners and offer specials. The guests want good value for money and we have to focus on that,” he said, adding that training of staff also formed a part of the measures taken.
The hotel recently received the TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence, the second such award in two years.
The hotel has been in operation since 1997 under a different name and ownership, with only 14 rooms. (MM)