Decrease in Hotel Occupancy; Industry Action Required
WILLEMSTAD – The Curaçao Hospitality and Tourism Association (CHATA) has been measuring a decline in Hotel performance on Curacao month after month in the year 2016. The research shows that there were almost 120.000 fewer visitor nights so far this year compared to the same period in 2015. The drop in visitor nights, which automatically affects the hotel performance, is estimated to have cost hotels $10 million in lost revenue. The Board of CHATA and its hotel members are very concerned with this development. On one end of the circle, the island of Curaçao is getting visitors and in some markets they can even measure growth in arrival figures but the visitors are not only staying in alternative accommodations but are also having a shorter stay as fewer nights are being measured.
Talking about alternative accommodations from the recent reports one can conclude that about 50% of all the visitors who visited Curaçao in 2016 stayed in an alternative accommodation.
The recent figures provided by the CTB show that the largest drop in visitor nights was recorded from the South American market due to the instability in Venezuela. Visitors from the aforementioned market stayed approximately 334.000 nights in 2016 while last year this was an amount of approximately 430.000.
Fewer visitor nights do not only mean a drop in hotel performance but also means a decrease in on island expenditure. For example, if every visitor were to spend $100 per night in Curaçao then the island has lost almost $ 12 million in 2016 YTD. For the hotels, based on the year to date ADR of $149.40 and an occupancy of two people per room, the negative impact would be roughly $ 10 million.
The arrivals numbers are almost identical to last year but the loss of revenue is staggering. CHATA calls upon a stronger approach towards measuring the performance of the tourism industry and is realistic that the hotels in Curaçao are not performing in line with the success of increase in simply arrival numbers.
Latest Hotel performance shows a decline in the month August 2016. Occupancy in August 2016 dropped by 12% compared to August 2015. ADR increased with 1% from $138.72 in August 2015 to $140.21 in August 2016. At $87.77 in August 2016, RevPAR has decreased by 12% compared to last year. CHATA concluded that Curaçao had the biggest drop in RevPAR in August 2016 and measured the lowest RevPAR and occupancy in the Caribbean.
CHATA hopes to address this issue amongst its members during the next CHATA membership meeting, which will take place on October 5, 2016, and continue the dialogue with all industry stakeholders to offset this growing trend of decline in tourism performance on the island. CHATA’s membership meeting will focus on new initiatives to drive hotel sales.