Grant calls for more value-added

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - Front Page -

LO­CAL HO­TELS need to de­vise new strate­gies to in­crease their oc­cu­pan­cies.

That’s the view of chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of the Bar­ba­dos Ho­tel & Tourism As­so­ci­a­tion (BHTA), Rudy Grant, even as the is­land recorded an 8.1 per cent in­crease in long-stay vis­i­tor ar­rivals in the first half of this year, com­pared with the same pe­riod last year.

How­ever, Grant said BHTA mem­ber prop­er­ties only re­ported a 1.5 per cent in oc­cu­pancy for the Jan­uary to June pe­riod.

Sug­gest­ing this was an in­di­ca­tion that vis­i­tors may be stay­ing else­where, he said: “It is there­fore ap­pro­pri­ate to opine that the in­crease in over­all stay­over ar­rivals is not re­sult­ing in a sim­i­lar in­crease in oc­cu­pancy for our ac­com­mo­da­tion mem­bers.

“It is nec­es­sary that we con­front the new re­al­i­ties and de­sign those ac­tions which pro­vide new value-added ex­pe­ri­ences to vis­i­tors com­ing to Bar­ba­dos.”

The BHTA ex­ec­u­tive has called for some reg­u­la­tion of op­er­a­tors in the shared ac­com­mo­da­tion sec­tor such as the in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar Airbnb, while ac­knowl­edg­ing there was room for this kind of ac­com­mo­da­tion.


He did not sug­gest this was the rea­son for the kind of oc­cu­pan­cies BHTA mem­ber ho­tels were ex­pe­ri­enc­ing.

Grant re­ported an 8 per cent in­crease or 25 896 more stay­over vis­i­tor ar­rivals at the end of June this year, with the United States tak­ing the lead in source mar­ket growth, fol­lowed by Canada with an 18 per cent in­crease.

The per­for­mance in the is­land’s main source mar­ket, the United King­dom, was “flat” with only 116 007 Bri­tish vis­i­tors com­ing to Bar­ba­dos be­tween Jan­uary and June. Grant ad­vised this poor per­for­mance from the Bri­tish mar­ket would af­fect rev­enues as vis­i­tors from the UK stay longer and spend more daily than vis­i­tors from other source mar­kets.

But there was a pos­i­tive out­look for air ar­rivals dur­ing the com­ing win­ter sea­son when there is ex­pected to be an in­crease of ap­prox­i­mately 7 000 air­line seats com­pared with the pre­vi­ous win­ter sea­son.

The CEO listed flights and in­creased air ser­vice ex­pected from the UK, Canada, the US and the Caribbean that he be­lieved would serve to boost the num­ber of vis­i­tors com­ing into Bar­ba­dos. (GC)

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