Signs of Improvement for Caribbean Hotel Industry

islands to live on

By Fatima Thompson
CJ Contributor

May produced positive overall performance results for hotels in the Caribbean thanks to just the second room-rate increase of 2018.

Occupancy was down (-0.9%) for the seventh month in a row even with lower room inventory year over year. In fact, the absolute occupancy level (64.4%) was the lowest for a May since 2013. However, average daily rate (ADR) grew 1.5% and pushed a 0.6% uptick in RevPAR. March was the region’s only other month in 2018 with increases in ADR and RevPAR.

We continue to see these mixed results across the metrics in part because there are still some hurricane-affected destinations that are not quite ready for leisure travel. That has led to sizeable fluctuations in supply and demand.

When examining monthly performance of the islands where STR maintains a sufficient reporting sample, the Cayman Islands experienced the largest rise in occupancy (+21.6% to 73.9%). Curacao reported the only other double-digit increase in occupancy (+12.4% to 66.5%).

Puerto Rico registered the largest lift in ADR (+22.4%) and the second-largest increase in RevPAR (+33.9%), while the Cayman Islands posted the second-highest jump in ADR (+17.7%), which resulted in the largest rise in RevPAR (+43.1%).

On the other hand, the Netherlands Antilles reported the largest decrease in RevPAR (-36.5%), due to the steepest drop in ADR (-38.1).

While performance growth in Puerto Rico is strong, supply (-19.5%) and demand (-12.0%) continued to trend downward.

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