CJ Invest, Hotels and Development, News

STR: March Data Shows Extent of Pandemic’s Impact on Caribbean Hotels

By Rico Louw

Client Account Manager, STR 

HENDERSONVILLE, Tennessee—Showing the harsh impact of COVID-19 travel limitations and mitigation efforts, Caribbean hotels reported double-digit declines in occupancy and revenue per available room (RevPAR) during March, according to data from STR.  

For the month, occupancy was down 48.9% year over year to 38.4%, which resulted in a 51.5% decrease in RevPAR (to US$100.33). While such numbers have unfortunately become commonplace the last month-plus, seeing more than 60% of a tourist region’s hotel rooms empty is still surreal. Average daily rate (ADR) also declined, but at a less steep 5.1%. Still too early to be affected by the situation, supply growth continued at a healthy rate.

Year to date through March, the region saw decreases in each of the three key performance metrics: occupancy (-20.7%), ADR (-2.9%) and RevPAR (-23.0%). The March shutdown of airports as well as government efforts to flatten the curve of COVID-19 pulled down quarterly results in every part of the world.

On the islands where STR maintains a sufficient reporting sample, Bermuda experienced the steepest drop in March occupancy (-66.6%). Trinidad & Tobago registered the largest decline in ADR (-31.1%) and RevPAR (-73.6%). 

In Puerto Rico, double-digit drops were seen across the board: occupancy (-48.2%), ADR (-15.6%) and RevPAR (-56.3%). 

Even though the rate may be slowed, investment and development will continue in the region. In March specifically, the Dominican Republic led in construction activity (15 hotels, 5,976 rooms), according to STR’s AM:PM platform.

Historical trends tell us that during times of crisis, those projects already being constructed are likely to be finished on a later timeline. The more significant impact usually comes in the planning phases, where projects may be outright shelved. 

STR continues to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on the hotel industry. For more information and analysis, please click here

Hoteliers in the region have an opportunity to contribute to the overall benchmarking efforts in the region. Just email info@str.com to participate in our STAR program. Our P&L data submission is also open, and hoteliers that participate will receive a complimentary report. 

Additional questions regarding hotel data reporting in the Caribbean can be directed to Rico Louw, Client Account Manager at STR at rlouw@str.com.

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