WHILE IT HAS BEEN FORECAST that the Caribbean tourism industry will witness slower growth in the next few years, the industry has reported increases in its room occupancy, average room daily rate, and revenue per available room during 2014.
According to hotel industry forecaster Smith Travel Research (STR), year-over-year comparisons showed that Caribbean hotels experienced a 1.5 per cent increase in occupancy to 68 per cent.
The average daily rate was up 6.4 per cent to US$194.66 and revenue per available room rose eight per cent to US$132.28.
STR officials told media personnel attending the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) Caribbean Travel Marketplace 2015, which concluded at the Puerto Rico Convention Centre last Friday, that during 2014, the region experienced three months of revenue per available room increases of more than 10 per cent; January (10.4 per cent), April (11.7 per cent), and May (10.5 per cent).
The region’s hotels also checked in positive average daily rates and revenue per available room rates during each month of 2014.
STR noted that 2014 ended with a big bang for the Caribbean in terms of occupancy, as the region posted its largest increase of the year, 5.3 per cent, during December.
Officials said that demand in the Caribbean also increased by 2.4 per cent, revenue jumped 8.9 per cent and supply grew by 0.8 per cent.
It was against this backdrop that Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) secretary general Hugh Riley disclosed that CTO chairman and Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy has given the Caribbean Tourism Development Company (CTDC) a mandate to produce a successful joint activity within the next several months.
The CTDC, a joint venture between the privately run CHTA and government-operated CTO Caribbean, has also been mandated to ensure that all information on its website is “truly representative of the region and that its website attracts increased traffic”.