How Caribbean Hotels Fared in 2013

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - January 28, 2014

By Alexander Britell

MIAMI — After a strong year in 2012, the Caribbean hotel industry saw growth slow slightly in 2013, according to new data from STR.

After significant improvement in Caribbean hotel occupancy in 2012, the region’s hotel sector saw growth start to flatten in 2013, with a 2.2 percent overall increase for the year.

The Caribbean hotel industry did finish with a strong December, however, with a 4.6 percent increase in hotel occupancy that was the second-largest increase in any month all year.

The 2.2 percent annual increase was far short of 2012’s 6.4 percent increase and 2011’s 4.1 percent increase.

For the year, Caribbean hotel occupancy stood at 67.1 percent, up from 65.7 percent in 2012.

“We’re just not seeing that strong rate growth we had seen in the prior cycle,” Steve Hennis, director at STR Analytics, said at the recent Caribbean Travel Marketplace in Montego Bay.

Average daily rates improved, however, with a 5.3 percent annual increase to $186.55.

Revenue per available room also increased in 2013, rising 7.6 percent to $125.21 for the year. That was a smaller improvement than 2012, when RevPAR increased by 10.7 percent for the year.

March 2013 was the region’s best month, with an overall hotel occupancy of 79.1 percent, while September was its worst month, with a 50 percent occupancy rate.

May saw the largest one-month year-over-year growth, with a 6.1 percent improvement over May 2012.

Some islands, however, are seeing above-average growth, Hennis said, including the British Virgin Islands, St Lucia, the Dominican Republic and St Vincent and the Grenadines, he said.

Hotel revenue reached $10.2 billion in the region, an improvement of 7.6 percent for the year.

A total of 1,888 properties containing 225,063 rooms were surveyed by STR, covering the entire 2013 calendar year.

Hennis said STR was projecting 1.1 percent growth for 2014.

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