Tourism arrivals surpass pre-pandemic levels

Tourism arrivals surpass pre-pandemic levels

(File) Chairman of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) Renèe Coppin.
(File) Chairman of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) Renèe Coppin.
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Tourism stakeholders are reporting a “positive” outlook for the country, as numbers exceeded pre-pandemic levels in 2022. 

Chairman of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), Renèe Coppin during a press briefing at the BHTA’s Belleville, St Michael office, declared that the last quarter of 2022 ended on a “relatively high note”, with arrivals for December surpassing 2019. 

In December 2022, 59, 216 arrivals were recorded, a 4.58 per cent increase to December 2019 which had 56, 624. 

Coppin added that October and November showed major improvement compared to 2020 to 2021, but it still was a decline to pre-COVID. 

Occupancy rates were also higher, Coppin added. According to the Smith Travel Report (STR), occupancy was at 87 per cent and 77.9 per cent in November and December respectively, despite the increased average daily rates. 

November’s occupancy was more than 10 per cent higher to 2019 and December increased by 3.8 per cent. 

“When we couple that with the fact that our supply of rooms this year outstripped pre pandemic levels at 198,059 room nights for December compared to 193,998 for 2019 and overall the report, registered supply for the year 2022 actually exceeding 2019 levels, we are delighted to have ended the year so strongly,” remarked BHTA’s chair. 

Coppin added: “We hope that we are heading towards the light at the end of the tunnel.  We must therefore commit every resource available to ensure that we continue to head in the direction of the light at the end of the tunnel.  We are trusting that it is not an illusion and this recovery will be sustained because at some times in the past what we have thought was a light turned out to be an incoming train.” 

The head of the island’s largest tourism organisation, expects the island’s “strong performance” to persist into the first quarter of 2023. 

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  • PublishedFebruary 18, 2023

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