By NATARIO McKENZIE
SEVERAL major Nassau-based hotel properties are expecting a successful fall 2012 season, with an Atlantis executive telling Tribune Business its bookings for the season were expected to be 8 per cent ahead of 2011 numbers.
Ed Fields, Kerzner International’s senior vice-president of public affairs and retail services, told Tribune Business:
“Our September has been somewhat on pace with previous years, but we expect fall bookings to be 8 per cent ahead of 2011.”
Jermaine Wright, director of business development at the British Colonial Hilton, told Tribune Business the hotel was anticipating a “most successful fall” despite it being the traditionally slower vacation period.
“Our hotel is currently experiencing moderate occupancy levels in September. We are anticipating a most successful fall. The hotel’s business mix of both corporate and leisure guests lends to noted success during this period, which is traditionally slow with vacationers,” said Mr Wright.
Patrick Drake, general manager at Sandals Royal Bahamian, noting that September was a particularly slow period, said the all-inclusive resort was currently running with occupancy levels in the high 60- low 70 per cents, compared to the 90 per cent occupancy levels witnessed in the summer.
“In the high 60’s, low 70’s is where we are right now, and for the next three months. Right now we are in the particularly slow part of the season,” said Mr Drake.
The Ministry of Tourism’s (MOT) airfare credit programme, which was reinstated back in July for four weeks, was intended to help build business for the fall and winter 2012 period. That version offered airfare credits (subsidies) between $200-$350 per booking.
Visitors booking a stay of six nights or more received a $350 credit, while those staying between three-five nights in the Bahamas received $200.
Tourism officials have since pumped an additional $6 million into the air credit initiative that will now run into the first quarter of next year.