Hotel bookings up despite high Covid Numbers – Barbados
Accommodation (hotel) bookings are once again trending in the right direction, for at least the next two months, according to the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA).
However, there is growing concern among tourism stakeholders over an emerging dip in projected occupancy for the summer, which is currently below expectations.
Chairman of the BHTA Renee Coppin revealed that as much as bookings increased during the Betway Twenty20 International cricket series in Barbados last month, local bookings are on course to receive a much-needed boost in March when the British return for the Barbados leg of a Test tour of the Caribbean.
“I think, historically, we have had a positive response; in fact, probably more so to Test cricket because persons are coming here for a vacation experience and, therefore, staying for seven to 14 days and enjoying a Test while they’re here is something that certainly English people are not going to baulk at,” Coppin told Barbados TODAY.
“So we have had a very strong interest in the Test series and I think as strong an interest as we have had in the T20s, and we are hoping for a positive March in terms of occupancy and revenues,” the tourism executive added.
Despite the economic gains from the T20 series between West Indies and England, there was some concern about spectators at Kensington Oval not adhering to the national mask-wearing mandate.
“In terms of the protocols at the matches, that is something that I am not qualified to speak to. The COVID-19 Monitoring Unit and the Ministry of Health will have to speak to that,” said Coppin.
“A lot of our guests are in a position where the countries they come from are moving away from mask-wearing and those types of protocols, particularly at outdoor venues, and it’s become more a discretionary issue. Obviously, we are not at that stage yet in Barbados and we are firmly of the opinion that when in Barbados, you should do as Barbadians do.
“However, that is not really our mandate. We must be led and guided by the Ministry of Health. So I await their determination in that regard,” she added.
In the meantime, occupancy rates which are currently hovering around 62 per cent are expected to increase to 65 per cent next month before falling to 45 per cent in April. The projected trends falter to 35 per cent in May before plummeting to 30 per cent in June, said the BHTA chairman.
Hotel bookings up, eyes on boosting summer outlook Barbados Today