Tourism Boom Continues With 11% Revenue Rise


Tribune Business Reporter


THE Bahamas saw sustained gains in its tourism revenue during the first two months of 2015, with room revenues improving by 11 per cent according to the Central Bank.

In its monthly economic report for February the Central Bank noted that the 11 per cent room revenue improvement included a 8.2 per cent increase in the average occupancy rate to 70.5 per cent.

The regulator said this was “reflecting the combination of a higher visitor count and a reduction in inventory, due to the closure of a few mid-sized properties for renovations.”

The Central Bank went on to note that the average daily room rate firmed by 8.9 per cent to $268.11.

Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe recently told Tribune Business that Nassau/Paradise Island still need an additional 100,000-seat increase in airlift capacity within the next three to four months to satisfy the demand for all of the current hotel properties and those set to come on stream.

Tourism and hotel industry stakeholders had estimated in the past that a 400,000-seat increase in airlift capacity into the Bahamas would be needed for Baha Mar’s opening with its more than 2,000 hotel rooms.

Mr Wilchcombe told Tribune Business: “The responses by the airlines have been very positive and there is certainly a willingness to expand capacity into Nassau once airlines see demonstrated demand from Baha Mar.

“The airlift is there but we have to continuously increase based upon markets. To maintain the trek that we’re on we have to ensure that we’re on the ground talking to people and getting more business into The Bahamas and sustaining it. We’re comfortable today but we are working assiduously to get more airlift to The Bahamas.”

The Central Bank in its report for February said: “Expectations are the economy’s growth pace should continue to strengthen over the next six months, as tourism activity benefits from improvements in several key source markets, the phased launch of the multi-billion dollar Baha Mar resort, and the hosting of a number of sporting and cultural events,” referring to events like The Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival and the second installment of the IAAF World Relays.


asiseeit 5 years, 5 months ago

Boom? Stop smoking that crack and come back to reality, where are the jobs?


ThisIsOurs 5 years, 5 months ago

IAAF relays more like it. No one is coming for carnival, they"might" happen to be here as holdovers from the relays or have been coming "anyway". But there is no mass influx for Carnival. I hope the "Festival Village" is not that bunch of unsightly haphazard clapboard structures some misguided person allowed to be built on Junkanoo beach. Just what the tourism product needs, more tshirts, cheap beads and greasy food.


banker 5 years, 5 months ago

This is all smoke and mirrors. They say that room revenue is up 11%. Here is how they calculate it. They take the total revenue, and divide it by the number of total rooms. So if the number of total rooms goes down, the revenue is higher. For example if one gets $100 total revenue on 5 rooms, then the room revenue number is $20. If you take one room away, then the room revenue is $25. Voila! You have just had a 25% increase in room revenue without any more money changing hands.

So now the average room in the Bahamas rose by 8.9% to $268.11 and the number of rooms decreased then of course you will have a rise in room revenues as well.

The $268.11 cost per night is very scary. Just looking at the Cuba room rates (single occupancy) Old Havana - $200 per night; La Nacional - $126 per night; Santa Isabel - $115 per night; Melia Cohiba - $151 per night; Melia Habana - $138 per night and the list goes on. These rates are for the month of April, 2015 -- this year. Dominican Republic is even cheaper.

Tourism boom? Ha! Sad to say, but this is junk reporting. The Central Bank and Wendy Craigg are PLP pawns told to report positive news. The subtext in this article is that it will be impossible to fill Baha Mar unless we get more airlift, and there will not be more airlift until demand strengthens. It is a chicken and egg scenario and there are no chickens and no eggs, except the goose eggs on the increase in profitability numbers.

The Central Bank, in its disingenuous commentary also noted that with VAT the cost of living increases were "moderate". With a high unemployment rate, do they consider VAT as moderate ???? And they also noted that the government's deficit had risen to over $290 million in January, calling the overall growth of the economy as "firming up". Whatever they are smoking, I want some of it. People are hurting, the country is dying a slow painful death, crime is increasing, endemic corruption is almost at the same zenith as during the Pindling years, and the Central Bank puts out this vomit? God help us.


Jonahbay 5 years, 5 months ago

Yes indeed... This is nothing but spin.


birdiestrachan 5 years, 5 months ago

AH well you folks do not want anything good for the Bahamas. But good will come in spite of what you may wish or wright.,


GrassRoot 5 years, 5 months ago

of course we do. do you think we want our kids to be unemployed and gang members? or living off the bread crumbs the numbers boys leave behind or learning Chinese, so they can understand their bosses? When do people start to understand that sustained growth does not come from large enterprises such as Atlantis, Baha Mar, etc., but from entrepreneurial initiatives, ideas, hard work, good education, and perspectives. Brick by brick, step by step.


asiseeit 5 years, 5 months ago

^^What a STUPID thing to say. We are Bahamians. How would we benefit from a failed government? This statement proves what a small intellect you really have, PLP or nothing, right Birdie. FOOL! It seems that it is you who would sell out the country for your beloved PLP. Tell me if I lie?


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