‘Go above and beyond’ as hotel room revenue up 8%

Kerry Fountain

Kerry Fountain


Tribune Business Editor


Family Island hotels must “go above and beyond” on customer experience as the 8.2 percent surge in room revenues shows they are charging visitors more for their accommodation.

Kerry Fountain, the Bahama Out Islands Promotion Board’s executive director, told Tribune Business its member properties and all resorts must “keep in front of us” the need to exceed guest expectations amid an increase in daily rates that has offset a reduction in room nights sold.

Revealing that room nights sold for the five months to end-May 2024 were down by around 5.4 percent compared to the same period last year, he added that Abaco, Andros, Eleuthera, Bimini, Exuma and Cat Island remain among the best-performing Family Islands. Those not faring so well lack the airlift and same-day connectivity with Nassau on Saturday and during mid-week.

“Our preliminary numbers, looking at room nights sold and looking at same member hotels for January through May 2024 compared to the same period in 2023, we’re roughly maybe 5.4 percent down in terms of room nights sold,” Mr Fountain told this newspaper.

“But the good news for January through May is that we are 8.2 percent up in terms of room revenue. With less rooms sold we’re doing better in terms of room revenue. That also signifies something to me that’s very important and we have to keep in front of us. 

“We are charging more for the rooms we are selling. Our hotel members have to remember to deliver the customer experience. They have to remember to keep in mind to go above and beyond, and deliver a better than anticipated customer service. They’re charging more for the same rooms, so service has to step up. It isn’t that they aren’t, but they must keep doing.

“Room revenue for January to May 2024 compared to the same period in 2019 is only 5 percent behind, and 2019 was a record year for us. That’s how we’re doing overall.” Mr Fountain also broke down resort performance by island.

“If I was to look by island, and I compare January to May 2024 to January to May 2023, Abaco is at the same level and actually 9 percent above 2019,” the Promotion Board chief told Tribune Business of room nights sold by member properties. “Andros, if you look at 2024 compared to 2023, is about 85 percent of what it was last year and 98 percent of 2019.

“Compared to 2023, Bimini is actually 2 percent above 2023. Long Island is about 85 percent compared to 2023, Exuma is at 91 percent and San Salvador, even though they are small numbers, is up at 112 percent of 2023.”

Mr Fountain added: “If you look at room revenues, Abaco is at 136 percent of what it was in 2023, and actually 151 percent of what it was in 2019. Andros is at 97 percent compared to 2023, and 110 percent compared to 2019. Bimini is 1 percent above, or at 101 percent, compared to 2023, and 118 percent compared to 2019.

“Long Island, again, its 2024 numbers are 111 percent of what they were in 2023 and 108 percent of what it was in 2019. Eleuthera’s room revenues are 142 percent of what they were in 2023, and 141 percent of what they were in 2019. All in all, if you look at room revenues, for January to May 2024 we are 108 percent of what they were in 2023 and 95 percent of what they were in 2019.

“Long story short, islands like Abaco, Andros, Bimini, Cat Island to a certain extent, Eleuthera, Long Island is increasing, but also Exuma and San Salvador, those are the islands that are the best-performing islands,” he added.

“We know why Acklins and other islands are not performing as we’d like them to be. It has everything to do with airlift out of Nassau on Wednesdays and Saturdays only that doesn’t allow for same day connectivity. If you’re coming in on Jet Blue and want to fly fish with Felton at Salina Point you have to wait until the next day to get there.”


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