Barbados hotels promoting stay-at-home vacations
Anticipating a further slowdown in business during the forthcoming summer season, Barbados hotels and villas have started promoting low-cost “Staycations” – stay-at-home holidays until June 30, 2009.
The objective is to fill the revenue void of some properties, maintain employment and reduce foreign exchange leakage in the face of the travel slow-down caused by the continuing International downturn.
Executive vice-president of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), Sue Springer said it’s also an opportunity for locals to take time out to relax and distress in these tough times.
Said Ms. Springer: “too many of our nationals have never experienced our tourism product, which is a billion dollar industry, so we are offering them the opportunity to do so at affordable prices.”
Assistant Executive vice-president of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), Michelle Smith-Mayers, says over three dozen hotels and villas have committed to the program so far.
“The rates offered are extremely competitive and run from as low as US$50 per night for double occupancy, with some offers including breakfast,” she said.
Advertisements in the Barbados newspapers list rates from US$50 per night for budget apartment hotels to US$150 per night for the luxury class properties like the Barbados Hilton hotel and the Crane Resort. Also included in the ads are villas and condominiums at US$99 per room night.
The “Staycation Barbados 2009” offers are available not only to Barbadians, but to residents and visiting Caribbean Community (CARICOM) nationals.
Barbados annually welcomes just over half a million long-stay visitors. According to the Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA), which promotes the sector, the total number of tourists visiting last year amounted to 566,763, compared with 574,697 in 2007, when the island hosted the final of the Cricket World Cup.
So far this year, both the BTA and the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association have reported a dip in the industry’s performance for 2009. The BTA estimated the long-stay visitor fall off at 7.7%.
The BHTA reports that it’s been seeing declines ranging from 5% – 16% in hotel occupancy, except in the “A” and “B” class properties, which showed growth of between 2% and 4%.
April 19th, 2009