Cayman Islands, Curaçao Lead Regional Hotel Growth

islands to live on

By Fatima Thompson

Caribbean hotel performance comparisons showed some positives for the first time in 2018, according to March data from STR.

The region is on the road to recovery, and several destinations that were not affected by last year’s hurricanes are open for business and were frequented by tourists during the winter and spring break season.

The region’s overall occupancy in March dropped 2.2% due to a 2.9% decrease in demand. Supply was down 0.8%, which was the largest decrease in the region since September 2012.

Even with the declines in occupancy and demand, average daily rate (ADR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR) increased 2.6% and 0.3%, respectively.

Hotel performance for Q1 was mostly negative, as occupancy fell 1.8% to 71.9%, leading to a 1.7% decrease in RevPAR. ADR remained almost flat (+0.1%) at US$244.96. March produced the strongest absolute values of the quarter: occupancy (73.9%), ADR (US$256.67) and RevPAR (US$189.69).

Popular destinations, such as Grand Cayman and Curaçao, saw an increase in tourist arrivals which resulted in double-digit growth in ADR and RevPAR for the quarter.

When examining monthly performance of the islands where STR maintains a sufficient reporting sample, the Cayman Islands experienced the largest year-over-year increases in the three key performance metrics for the second month in a row: occupancy (+10.2%), ADR (+28.1%) and RevPAR (+41.1%)

Absolute ADR in Puerto Rico (US$235.44) was the highest for any month in the country since February 2016, while its absolute RevPAR level (US$189.12) was the highest for any month since March 2015. Supply and demand, however, were significantly low. Supply dropped 18.7%, the lowest since November 2017, while demand dropped 15.3%, the lowest since September 2017.

Among other select islands, Saint Lucia experienced the second-largest rise in occupancy (+9.2%); Curacao posted the second-largest increase in ADR (+18.0%); and Aruba saw the second-highest jump in RevPAR (+17.6%).

On the other hand, the steepest drops in ADR and RevPAR were reported in the Netherlands Antilles, down 42.2% and 47.8%, respectively.

Fatima Thompson is the Associate Director of Business Development, Hotels

Caribbean & Mexico at STR.

For questions regarding hotel data reporting in the Caribbean, please contact Fatima Thompson at fthompson@str.com.