Performance tourism sector for the month of November

Strong high season helps economic recovery 

WILLEMSTAD - CHATA & CASHA publish the figures regarding hotels, alternative accommodations, car rentals and diving schools monthly. By doing this together, both associations aim to create a broader and balanced overview of Curaçao’s tourism & hospitality sector’s performance and recovery during the ongoing pandemic.

Performance CASHA members

The average accommodation occupancy was in November 83.1%. This is an increase of 17.7% compared to the month before, thus October. November was a promising month after the positive recovery throughout the second half of the year. Even so, that three accommodations reached a 100% occupancy rate. These accommodations were evenly spread on the island at Pietermaai, Saliña and Banda Bou. Four accom-modations reached an occupancy rate of 99%, 93%, 93% and 91%. Two of them are located at Jan Thiel, one at Blue Bay and one at Banda Bou. The remaining accom-modations reached occupancy rates between 50% and 88.33%. Furthermore, there weren’t any accommodations reporting zero occupancy.

Car rentals had an occupancy of 79.7% and dive schools reached an average occupancy of 58.8%.

CASHA members are still experiencing bookings from 2019 that have already been paid for, but guests were not able to travel in 2020 or early 2021 due to COVID. Accommodation owners offered these guests the option and free service to rebook their stay later. It is currently the traveler’s responsibility to secure their travel with an additional insurance. As soon as the accommodation owner is not able to guarantee any free refunds, this is reason enough for the traveler not to book or to cancel in advance. 

CASHA announces that thankfully, cancelations are happening less frequently. In such a case, it is mostly due to a positive test result in the country of departure. Lately, not being able to book a rental car is also reason for travelers to choose another Caribbean destination instead, as there is a big shortage of rental cars on the island. Many car rentals were forced to sell (parts of) their fleet to minimize costs and keep business afloat. Currently they are not able to invest yet in new additional cars or the delivery time takes longer due to the supply chain challenges in the world. Even the mosquitoes on the island are reason for cancelation these days.

Last minute bookings are still a reality

There is a clear shift in booking behavior. Bookings are not being made too long in advance, as most of the bookings are coming in last-minute. Travelers decide at the very last moment where they want to travel to, dependent on the travel measures at that moment. Next day arrivals are very normal. Accommodations are even being contacted upon arrival at the airport for bookings. Looking at the current situation, it looks like a positive closing of the year, as December as well as the first quarter of 2022 are hopeful.

The stress, the complexity of all the forms to enter Curaçao and the uncertainty remain an issue, however, once the travelers arrive on Curaçao and can enjoy the island, they are happy that they visited after all. The sector hopes to be able to maintain this positive trend, despite the expected wave due to the variant Omicron.

Performance CHATA members

When it comes to medium to larger hotels, the November figures clearly indicate an increase as well and with this said the positive trend continues.

In the month of November 2021, Curaçao had a hotel occupancy of 77.8%. Compared to the same month of the year before (39.8%), this is an increase of 95.3%. Compared to the hotel occupancy of November 2019, this is also a slight increase of 4.4%. The average daily rate in November 2021 was $187.87. Compared to the same month of last year, this is an increase of 52.3% and compared to 2019 this is an increase of 28.3%.

As for the revenue per available room, there is also a significant increase of 197.5% compared to last year. From $49.14 to $146.20 this year. Also compared to 2019 (pre COVID) this is an increase of 38.2%.

The increases compared to 2019 carries on structurally since July of this year. The STR data in comparison to the last two years is showcased in the table below:

November

2021

2020

2021 vs. 2020

2019

2021 vs. 2019

Occ.

77.8%

39.8%

+ 95.3%

74.4%

+ 4.4%

ADR

$ 187.87

$ 123.35

+ 52.3%

$134.79

+ 28.3%

RevPAR

$ 146.20

$ 49.14

+ 197.5%

$ 90.34

+ 38.2%

 

*Smith Travel Research (STR) is the leading global provider of competitive benchmarking, information services and research to the hotel industry.

CHATA remains carefully optimistic for the coming high season and expects that the hotel occupancy for the last month of 2021 and first month of 2022 is minimally compared to that of 2019. “With this we expect an average occupancy of around 70%, considering there are no drastic changes and/or measures due to the Omicron variant” according to CHATA.

The trend continues: tourists are staying longer and spending more.

Since the strong tourism recovery after the second lockdown this year, we see clearly that tourists who visit our island stay longer and spend more. This is reflected in the increasing daily rates and the revenue per available room. According to CHATA: “This is a very positive trend”.

CHATA continues to monitor the developments of the sector closely and on a structural basis and when necessary, supports and advices the government, aiming on the recovery and development of the sector and therefore improving an important pilar of our economy.

 

November is the second month in a row that Curaçao scores highest compared to other islands in the Caribbean in terms of hotel occupancy, when it comes to bigger hotels.




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