By Rico Louw
The Caribbean hotel industry saw its first occupancy decline since October 2018, but continued its run of growth in room rates and revenues, according to April data from hotel analytics STR.
In year-over-year comparisons with April 2018, occupancy fell 4.1% due to a 2.4% lift in supply and a 1.7% decrease in demand. Average daily rate (ADR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR), however, rose 12.9% and 8.4%, respectively.
ADR and RevPAR have now grown for six straight months in the region.
On the islands where STR maintains a sufficient reporting sample, Saint Lucia posted the largest lift in ADR (+17.1%), but the only double-digit decrease in occupancy (-14.0%).
The Bahamas saw the largest increase in occupancy (+12.1%) and RevPAR (+23.6%), while the Turks and Caicos Islands reported the steepest drop in RevPAR (-9.2%).
Puerto Rico experienced a decline in occupancy (-5.1%), but a 9.5% jump in ADR, which led to a 4.0% increase in RevPAR. The occupancy decrease is most likely due to hotels finishing up renovations after Hurricane Maria and re-entering the marketplace.
The Dominican Republic continues to lead in rooms in construction. As of April, the island had 82 hotels accounting for 15,731 rooms in construction.
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