By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
OUT Island resort properties are reporting high occupancies for the Easter holiday weekend, Sandals Emerald Bay Resort telling Tribune Business it would be full due in large part to the island’s annual regatta coinciding with its reunion week.
“We are actually very busy,” said general manager Jeremy Mutton. “Easter this year ties in with the start of the regatta, of which we are a sponsor, and with our reunion week. A combination of those means that we will be full for Easter.”
Wanda Henning, resort manager at Cape Santa Maria, told Tribune Business that the property was also seeing high occupancies for the Easter holiday weekend, with business up 21 per cent year-to-date.
“We’re pretty full for the Easter period. Business has been good so far this year. We’re very pleased. We’re actually a little up right now, about 21 per cent year-to-date. We had a good Spring Break, a good March and and we’re seeing a good April with Easter coming later this year,” said Mrs Henning.
Stephen Kappeler, the Treasure Cay Resort, Marina & Golf Club’s general manager, said the property was also expecting good business for the period.
“We have excellent guest room and marina bookings specifically for this next family holiday weekend, due to the Easter Holiday and the first ever all-Abaco Homecoming Kalik Music beach blast festival we newly planned for the fun and enjoyment of all Abaco residents and area resort and rental villas guests,” he said.
“As we realised with the example of a successful family fun event in Rock Sound, Eleuthera, with the Conch Festival as a draw, it fills rooms and families’ homes for 50 miles. We hope to endeavour for the good of Abaco residents, locals and internationals, the same over such a family value holiday as Easter.”
Mr Kappeler added: “We are hosting a first-ever bone-fishing tournament and a very important volunteer, environmentally-focused green event with our Coastal Awareness and Ministry of Tourism partners, led by Earlston McPhee of sustainable tourism and Wynsome Ferguson, Abaco ministry of tourism director - a Treasure Cay beach clean up of our 3.5 miles of pristine beach.
“We recognise this beach as one of the finest in all the Caribbean, and give it praise and thanks in ensuring its natural beauty with no sign of man other than our footsteps.”
Despite the positive outlook for the Easter period, Mr Kappeler noted that business was off 20 per cent from last year due to lack of, or no airlift, into Treasure Cay.
“The Ministry of Tourism and Bahamasair are working on this with us, we hope, possibly wisely offering one of the successful Palm Beach or Fort Lauderdale direct flights to Treasure Cay on Saturdays so weekly vacations can be booked,” he added.
“It makes sense as more than 50 per cent of those passengers into Marsh Harbour are from North Abaco, not central or South.”