Hotel bookings surge, eyes on improving summer outlook

According to the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), accommodation bookings are again in the right direction, for at least the next two months.

However, tourism stakeholders are increasingly concerned about an incipient drop in projected occupancy for the summer, which is currently below expectations.

BHTA chairwoman Renee Coppin has revealed that while bookings increased during the Betway Twenty20 International cricket series in Barbados last month, local bookings are set to get a much-needed boost in March when the British return for the stage of a test in Barbados. Caribbean tour.

“I think historically we’ve had a positive response; actually probably more to test cricket because people come here for a holiday experience and therefore to stay seven to 14 days and enjoy a test while here is something the English don’t certainly won’t mind,” Coppin said Barbados TODAY.

“So we’ve had very strong interest in the Test series and I think as strong an interest as we’ve had in the T20s, and we’re hoping for a positive March in terms of occupancy and revenue,” the manager added. tourism.

Despite the economic gains of the T20 series between the West Indies and England, there were fears that spectators at Kensington Oval were sticking to the national mask-wearing mandate.

“In terms of protocols at matches, it’s something I’m not qualified to talk about. The COVID-19 monitoring unit and the Ministry of Health will have to talk about it,” Coppin said.

“A lot of our guests are in a position where the countries they come from are moving away from mask-wearing and those kinds of protocols, especially at outdoor venues, and it’s become more of a discretionary issue. Obviously, we are not quite there yet in Barbados and we strongly believe that when you are in Barbados, you should do as the Barbadians do.

“However, that’s not really our mandate. We must be led and guided by the Ministry of Health. I therefore await their determination in this regard,” she added.

Meanwhile, occupancy rates which currently hover around 62% are expected to rise to 65% next month before falling to 45% in April. Projected trends drop to 35% in May before dropping to 30% in June, the BHTA chairman said.

“Clearly we have a challenge ahead of us, especially in a situation where not only our revenue, but also our revenue per available room has dropped significantly from 2019 numbers,” Coppin lamented.

“So we’re looking to maximize the returns in terms of those Test matches and we’re looking forward to the season. Over the summer we are looking to see what summer events we can organize to try to generate interest in traveling to Barbados,” she added.

BHTA chief executive Rudy Grant is optimistic that the current slow pace of bookings over the summer months could improve with a marketing boost from one of the association’s main partners .

“We signaled to [Barbados Tourism Marketing Incorporated] BTMI that we need to have discussions about what marketing tactics we will engage in for the summer period,” he said. [email protected]

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