The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Authority (CHTA) announced at the Caribbean Travel Marketplace, hosted at the Montego Bay Convention Center in Jamaica, the findings of its fourth annual Industry Performance and Outlook survey, as completed by hotels across the region. The survey was completed to gain a better understanding of the state of the tourism economy, its outlook and the degree to which a number of factors may affect the tourism industry.
The good news? Forty-four percent of respondents say the tourism economy in the Caribbean today is “strong.” On top of that, seven percent replied with “extremely strong” and 42 percent said “moderate,” while seven percent replied with “weak.” None answered “extremely weak.” Several of the top reasons for the positive outlook include the new and upgraded accommodations, additional airlift and greater marketing investments. In fact, 61 percent of hotels reported increased capital investments and 47 percent reported new hires (while 44 percent maintained their existing levels), meaning that the increase in tourism is also having a positive affect on the economies.
The report also showed growth across several key business performance metrics, with at least one-third of hotels showing growth in employment, sales/revenue, pricing, profits, capital spending, room occupancy and ADR. The numbers are giving those on the ground an even more positive outlook for 2019. Seventeen percent say the outlook for 2019 is “extremely positive,” while 39 percent say its “positive.” On the other hand, 10 and five percent have a “negative” or “extremely negative” outlook, respectively.
Some issue the region continues to face are residual impacts from the 2017 hurricanes, negative perceptions in the consumer marketplace, global uncertainty, high airfares and increasing global competition.
Seventy-six percent of respondents represent independent hotels, 21 percent represent chain hotels and three percent come from shared ownership properties.