Those hoteliers who suffered an incredibly arduous tourist summer can expect to get some relief in the upcoming winter season.
However, an industry official told Barbados TODAY it might not be strong enough to dig industry stockholders out of the deep pit created by the considerably bad summer.
Speaking under anonymity, he said hoteliers had projected the coming season to do be no worse than the last, but it was shaping up to be more beneficial for the hotels on the higher end, with the one and two-star accommodations likely to suffer.
”Even though winter is going to be decent, most people would be in a hole because of the summer. The money made in winter usually keeps you during a normal summer and this summer was hard . . . . Now this winter’s money has to pay bills; [and] that puts businesspeople on the back foot.
“In terms of length of stay, there are no projected increases; there is still uncertainty with people. But those in the higher end are still travelling, though . . . spending less time,” he said.
The source disclosed that the money made during the winter season more often went towards maintenance of the buildings during the slow summer period, but that because of the poor summer, upgrading was expected to suffer, posing further challenges for the industry.
So hoteliers have been pleading with the Government to put into effect the concessions to help with operating costs announced earlier this year in the Budget Speech.
Operations manager Paul Collymore at Ocean’s 2 was in agreement that the season was shaping up to be a good one for his four-star hotel. Speaking to Barbados TODAY from his St Lawrence, Christ Church hotel this afternoon, he also revealed that even though the summer season was not what was expected, he was optimistic that the coming winter would do much better since Ocean’s 2 was ahead of last year’s.
Collymore said in an effort to keep that momentum going the almost three-year-old hotel would further work with its tourism partners in remaining competitive. The hotel manager said his administration would also continue to enforce training of staff, since it was through them that he believed the product would maintain its high quality.
In an effort to generate supplementary revenue the hotel plans to further reach out to corporate Barbados offering its hospitality services to business, Collymore says. The four-star hotel boasts exquisitely furnished rooms and suites, as well as meeting rooms which could be used for intimate conferences.
Alvin Jemmott of Divi Southwinds in St Lawrence, Christ Church, likewise was hopeful that the winter season would be as good as, or better than last year’s, based on forward bookings.
The general manager said Southwinds was so optimistic of the good winter season that it had made a million-dollar investment into a brand new restaurant –– Pure Ocean. Construction is currently under way and it will be located beachside.
It is expected to be opened in January 2014.