Top awards for Barbados Hilton
The Barbados Hilton Resort had a lot to celebrate last night at its awards celebration dinner.
Not only was the Needham’s Point facility successful in copping a record number of awards between last year and this year in the hotel chain’s group, but General Manager George Stanfield said the Barbados Hilton was performing at a profit despite some concerns facing the industry.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the awards celebration dinner Stanfield said the hotel has been successful in maintaining high occupancy levels since he took up the position in 2014.
“2008 was a record year here, not only here but pretty much the entire world before the 2009 recession. [In] 2014 we were able to hit 2008 numbers and that is pretty impressive, and that was not with ADR [average daily rate] either, it was with more heads and beds.
“So while rate was really driving 2008, more marketing power and volume was managed in 2014. We kept that strategy in 2015 but increased rates. So we have been able to average another record in 2015 over 2014,” reported Stanfield.
He said the hotel was on course to experience a favourable 2016 season despite some concerns including the Zika virus, the exchange rate in the UK, among others.
“However . . . Barbados is actually the healthiest country in the entire Caribbean financially when it comes to our hotel. We are growing a third year in a row both financially and service oriented wise,” added Stanfield.
The hotel is currently averaging an occupancy rate of between 60 and 70 per cent for the summer, up from the usual 30 to 50 per cent around this time of year.
Stanfield attributed this strong performance to the marketing efforts and hard work of the team, adding that Staycations also provided “outstanding” business, with a lot of repeat business.
The Hilton boss said he had a positive outlook despite the lingering challenges and concerns.
“I think the entire Caribbean is trying to get this 2016 under our belts. We have done positive. We struggled month over month, however, we are still hitting our target points. So we are looking forward to 2017,” he said.
Of the more than 500 Hilton properties worldwide, Hilton Barbados walked away with the Global Team Member Survey award; the Highest Leadership Engagement 2015 award; the Change Champion of the Year Award 2015; the World Luxury Spa award; the Barbados Best Employers Award 2016 (large category); and the Genius of the “and” award, which recognized the hotel’s ability to meet a number of set measures including continuity, change, stability.
Acting Minister of Tourism Irene Sandiford Garner said the Hilton resort continued to contribute significantly to the local economy, adding that the hotel’s development and expansion over the years were critical to its sustainability.
She said there were a number of lessons that other property owners could learn from the Barbados Hilton Resort, pointing out that the awards spoke to the hotel’s talent retention, hardworking team members and its service excellence.
Sandiford-Garner also urged management and staff not to relax but to continue their pursuit of excellence.
During the night’s proceedings guests, which involved members of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), Government departments, the National Initiative for Service Excellence, Caribbean Catalyst and other stakeholders, were treated to musical performances and a belly full of laughter from comedy duo Rum and Koke.