How Hurricane Sandy Affected Hotel Occupancy in the Caribbean


Above: the Hotel Convento in San Juan, Puerto Rico

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Hurricane Sandy had a widespread impact on hotel occupancy across the Caribbean region, according to data from hotel data firm STR Global.

The storm, which hit the Caribbean on Oct. 24, led to declines in a number of places.

“The overall numbers were up for the week, which seems counterintuitive, but the reality is for many properties revenue per available room was already way up from last year in the days before knowledge of the storm,” said Carter Wilson, director at STR Analytics. “Compared with those trends, it’s clear that immediately before the storm hit, the islands’ occupancy levels were impacted dramatically, either from impending travelers canceling their visits or vacationers cutting short their stays.”

Daily rate levels remained “fairly moderate” throughout the storm, according to Wilson.

Hotels in Nassau reported declines of 27 percent and Jamaica reported occupancy declines of 8.5 percent.

Puerto Rico actually saw a 12.5 percent gain in occupancy.

Prior to the arrival of the storm, several areas saw strong gains compared to the same period in 2011, including Trinidad and Tobago and San Juan.

As the storm continued to head north to the U.S., other Caribbean nations posted smaller gains, including Barbados, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

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