Homestay giving hotels a run for their money

The homestay industry is not only growing rapidly in Barbados, but it is also outperforming the traditional hotel sector in customer satisfaction, Chairman of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) Roseanne Myers revealed.

Myers told the BHTA third quarterly meeting at the Hilton Barbados Resort yesterday, recent statistics from one sharing economy website had shown that Barbadian families hosted over 13,000 visitors in their homes last year.

Roseanne Myers
Roseanne Myers

“This is an interesting development and one our BHTA partners can learn from as there are many areas where the level of satisfaction for their stay bettered a stay in the traditional sectors,” Myers said.

However she urged traditional hoteliers to view these emerging sectors such as Airbnb as catalysts to raise the standard of their service.

“At the end of the day after such reflection and even though they are not new concepts, it does provide added motivation to get things done in specific areas . . . . Every day we need to look for ideas that challenge our thinking and disruptive strategies that challenge the way we do business,” she added.

Her sentiment was endorsed by Chief Executive Officer Sue Springer, who called for regularization of the industry to protect Barbados’ reputation and to remove creeping discrepancies between tourist arrivals and occupancy.

“The latest report shows that the average occupancy this year has decreased by 1.1 per cent while arrivals have increased by 1.7 per cent. This difference may be accounted for in the shared economy,” Springer explained.

At the State of the Tourism Industry Conference held here last week, the new chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Obie Wilchcombe reported that while arrivals across the Caribbean were up, hotel occupancy was down, attributing the inconsistency to homestay programmes.

3 Responses to Homestay giving hotels a run for their money

  1. seagul September 23, 2016 at 5:52 am

    On my last trip home I’ve seen many signs of things beginning to fall apart with the crooked boutique hotels. The people are slowly awaking to make internet deals. Power to the people-for justice.

  2. Joan Wickham
    Joan Wickham September 23, 2016 at 8:10 am


  3. Bo Bristov January 15, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    As a regular visitor over the last 15 years (my wife is Bajan) it’s clear (and sad) to see the decline in the “high end” tourism which brought currency and jobs to the island, replaced by discount mass tourism adding nothing as the tourists stay in the resort putting their money in the owner’s pockets instead of the island’s economy. On top of that the government has granted a tax holiday for these resorts enabling them to milk the island and give nothing in return. WHO ON EARTH IS RUNNING THIS BUSINESS!!!????
    Times have changed. The travellers of today with disposable income are savvy and want an experience – sustainability – nature – wild life. The times for 3 or more cheap themed restaurants in the same resort are over. BARBADOS has all the above…. the food….the nature…the wild life….the rum.. most of all, the people…..Tap into it, before it’s too late…..


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