Nassau world’s 5th most expensive city for hotel vacations


Tribune Business Editor


Nassau’s was yesterday ranked as the fifth most expensive city in the world for hotel accommodation, a finding that will further raise concern that this nation is slowly pricing itself out of the global tourism market.

A survey of 150 cities by GoEuro, a Berlin-based travel search website, ranked Nassau behind just New York, St Moritz (Switzerland), Macau in China and Miami when it came to the average price of hotel accommodations.

The average nightly room rate in Nassau was pegged by GoEuro, which surveyed some 60,000 properties across the 150 cities, at $150. New York led the way at $246, with Miami coming in at $167.

The findings will add to the perception of the Bahamas as a high-cost destination, especially when factors such as air fare and other charges are included in the pricing equation.

Nassau ranked in the ‘top 20’ most expensive cities fin all categories of hotel accommodation. It was eighth most expensive in the five-star hotel category, with an average rate of $541, and came in fifth in the one-four star category with $172 as the average nightly rate.

Nassau also had the 14th most expensive nightly hostel rate at $37, and came in 17th for the cost of short-term apartment rentals with a rate of $171.

The Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) has repeatedly expressed concern that this nation’s high operating costs, which force hotels to largely target the high-end, premium price segment, are squeezing market share. And that was before the imminent arrival of Value-Added Tax (VAT).

Stuart Bowe, the BHTA president, speaking at last week’s Energy Security Forum, organised by the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC), said: “We’ve very expensive. Right now, the average vacation in the Bahamas, we’re ranked second in the region.”

An August 11, 2014, presentation sought to reinforce this message, drawing on research from last year that showed the Bahamas currently draws on just 35 per cent of its potential tourist market.

Based on how much a couple was wiling to spend for airfare, hotel and ground transportation, the BHTA-commissioned report showed that a collective $500 increase in these costs could drop the Bahamas’ US market draw to just 19 per cent.

High labour and utility costs make its extremely hard for resort developers/owners to generate the needed returns on their investment, depriving them of the profit margins/cash flow essential to financing the constant product upgrades demanded by the market.

With new investment deterred, and hotel owners not executing on expansion plans, the creation of additional Bahamian jobs becomes impossible.

The higher prices that have to be charged to tourists thus make the Bahamas uncompetitive against rival destinations, further squeezing resort top-lines and profits.


Regardless 8 years, 9 months ago

If the analysis included service quality for dollars paid, that would be very embarrassing. This study was done pre-VAT. Imagine how service will decline when additional tips above the mandatory 15% are offset by 7.5% VAT inclusion.


ohdrap4 8 years, 9 months ago

vat will no longer be chraged on gratuity at hotels


Regardless 8 years, 9 months ago

It is still being charged on the food and drink as a separate line item. So the customer will have the subtotal of food and beverage plus a service charge of 15% of the subtotal and a VAT charge of 7.5% of the subtotal. Are you insinuating that the extra 7.5% on the subtotal of the food and beverage charges will not be a factor in guest consideration of additional service tips? I for one, think twice about additional tipping if I am already being wacked an excess of 20% in service charges and taxes on my meal bill!


concernedcitizen 8 years, 9 months ago

I bet 30 to 35 % of room cost are for electricity ,,PRIVATIZE BEC ALREADY


duppyVAT 8 years, 9 months ago

What is it with these European surveys????????? Will they become the standard for our government making law and policy now???????????


asiseeit 8 years, 9 months ago

5th. most expensive, in the top 5 worst cruise ports, crime out of control, corruption rampant, a undereducated population, dirt and grime everywhere, vat coming, this country has a very dim future. Batten the hatches!


Well_mudda_take_sic 8 years, 9 months ago

The survey referred to is nothing but poppy cock nonsense. There has never been a 5-star hotel in the Bahamas and there never will be one. Who in their right mind would pay $150 per night for a hotel room in the Bahamas before all the add-on taxes and other charges of one kind or another? Baha Mar is in for a rude awakening when it opens as regards the current global perception the Bahamas as a tourist destination or desired country of residence!


The_Oracle 8 years, 9 months ago

We are signatory to the EU-EPA so yes, we have to measure up to their standards. This is what all the new legislation is about over the last 10 years, in order to comply. 7.5% VAT, will be Vat-able if the establishment takes any % of gratuities. if it is directly passed thru to staff then no. Some restaurants and maybe hotels do take a cut against breakages or other justifications. In any case, VAT is not the only increase, there will be inflationary effects on room rates and amenities also.


countryfirst 8 years, 9 months ago

It is actually difficult to find a good hotel in Nassau for $150 per night.


digimagination 8 years, 9 months ago

And probably at #1 when it comes to worst value for money!


ChaosObserver 8 years, 9 months ago

So is it really "better in the Bahamas".....uh, no! Not by a long shot! Add on the risk of robbery, death, poor service, high food cost, crappy transportation, pollution, and lacking utilities, phone service and the Bahamas is more of a "place to stay away from" location. Wise up Bahama government!


Sign in to comment