GLobal Hotel Network (SM) Report: The State of the Caribbean Hospitality Industry

This Global Hotel Network® Report takes a look at “The State of the Caribbean Hospitality Industry” from the perspective of John Bell, Director General and CEO of the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA). He explains:


“The impact of the September 11th. tragedies in New York and Washington masked the larger danger to Caribbean tourism of a recession in the United States, with the inevitable knock on effect this had on all our other source markets.”


“Lay offs, short weeks, furloughs and wage cuts were prevalent throughout the last quarter of 2001 with occupancies falling between 15%-40% depending on market composition and airlift. More dangerously, discounting became prevalent and participating hotels have found it difficult to raise prices when the winter season began in mid-December.”


“If a tragedy of these dimensions had to occur, September, with many resorts closed for annual renovations, was probably the best possible time. The key issue was whether there would be a significant bounce back in time for us to take advantage of the high season demand (Xmas to Easter). In the event, recovery fell short of our hopes and expectations.”


“Out of these turbulent times came a long overdue recognition by Caribbean governments that tourism was fundamentally critical to the economy of virtually every country in the region. As a consequence, CARICOM convened a Summit Conference on Tourism in Nassau on December 11th - 12th.”

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“From these deliberations came the twin decisions for government to participate in a $16 million private sector led initiative to market the Caribbean brand in North America, and the development of a strategic approach to the structural management of tourism in the Caribbean over the next 5 years.”


“Perhaps as a consequence of these public/private sector cooperative initiatives, we are beginning to see a much more interactive approach to the management and marketing of tourism at the national level throughout the region, with the private sector at last being recognized as a legitimate and valuable partner, not only by government but also by the International Donor Agencies.”


“With indications for a 3rd. quarter recovery, we anticipate that this summer will continue to be challenging, but that business will begin to improve by late fall, and that our 2002/3 Winter season will be much more healthy.”


The Global Hotel Network® Report is a regular feature of the weekly globalhotelnetwork.com e-Newsletter read by Top Tier decision makers in the global hospitality & travel industry. www.globalhotelnetwork.com/public/ghn.e_newsletter.html


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