CARIBBEAN HOTELS are expecting a good 2016 after the tourism industry’s improved performance last year.
That’s based on the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s (CHTA) inaugural Industry Performance And Outlook Study.
While the winter tourist season is ending this week, the research was conducted in January.
It was intended to “assist the organisation with gaining a better understanding of the state of the tourism economy, its outlook, and the degree to which a number of factors impact or may affect the tourism industry”.
The research found: more than half of hotels reported strong to moderate performance in 2015; with increased occupancies and arrivals, most hotels increase employment rolls, capital expenditures and investments in hotel properties were up; the profit picture was unsettling despite improved performance; 90 per cent of hotels characterised the 2015 tourism industry as strong to moderate; and the outlook for 2016 remained positive, with some creeping concerns.
Commenting on the findings, CHTA chief executive officer and director general Frank Comito said: “The good news is that hotel occupancies and average daily rates increased in 2015 for the majority of hotels, and employment has grown along with it.”
“On the flip side, hotels identified high operating and air travel costs as major growth deterrents which continue to plague the industry as it struggles to compete for markets that are unwilling to bear significant rate increases.”
Officials said the study found that a more positive cash flow was resulting in greater investments, with more than 68 per cent of hoteliers reporting an increase in capital expenditure.
“These investments have broader economic reach, as hotel expenditures for construction, supplies and materials stimulate greater local spending, positively impacting local businesses, extended employment and additional tax revenue,” CHTA said.
It added that “despite the upside and a positive outlook for 2016, approximately 67 per cent of hotels reported a net profit in 2015 compared to 33 per cent reporting a net loss” .