Bahamas Leading Caribbean Hotel Surge

bahamas delta dailyThe Baha Mar in Nassau.

By Rico Louw
CJ Contributor

The Caribbean hotel industry saw a second consecutive month of strong performance growth in February, according to data from STR.

In year-over-year comparisons with February 2018, revenue per available room (RevPAR) jumped 8.0%, due to a 6.7% lift in average daily rate (ADR) and a 1.2% increase in occupancy. Demand growth (+3.4%) outpaced supply (+2.1%) for the third month in a row, helping to push occupancy and further bolster hotelier pricing confidence.

On the islands where STR maintains a sufficient reporting sample, the Bahamas registered the largest increase in RevPAR (+35.8% to US$223.78), due primarily to the highest rise in occupancy (+26.4% to 72.4%). The Cayman Islands posted the largest lift in ADR (+14.1% to US$613.32).

Puerto Rico experienced a decline in occupancy (-7.2%), which led to a 3.2% drop in RevPAR. However, hotels on the island did maintain pricing power (ADR: +4.3%).

Investment in the region continues to look strong with 41 projects in construction accounting for 11,091 rooms. Among the islands, the Dominican Republic has the largest amount of rooms in the construction phase (6,224 rooms) of the pipeline.

It will be interesting to see where the region ends up when Q1 numbers are released in mid-April. Based on the first two months of the year, we know that we will see overall growth in comparison with a weaker 2018, but we’ll also want to look at how absolute values stack up against historical averages. March is typically one of the stronger months for Caribbean hotels with spring break as an obvious demand driver.

Rico Louw is client account manager at STR. Additional questions regarding hotel data reporting in the Caribbean can be directed to him at rlouw@str.com.