A survey conducted by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), of which The Bahamas is a member, found that while profits for tourism-related businesses were up in 2022, higher operational costs led to at least one in five businesses reporting losses last year.
CHTA President Nicola Madden-Greig said the findings are indicative of the challenges the tourism industry continues to face despite a robust rebound in visitor arrivals throughout the region.
“We’re still digging ourselves out of the hole and that’s very important to know. Sometimes we look at recovery as stopover arrivals and the upfront numbers and not realizing the cost of operations and the challenges we have to come out of, with nearly two years of almost no sales for the industry,” she said during a virtual press conference on CHTA’s 2022 Performance and 2023 Outlook Survey Results.
Ninety-one percent of Caribbean tourism-related businesses responded to the survey.
Sixty-four percent are independent hotel brands, 13 percent are chain hotels and 24 percent are other types of tourism related businesses.
“The issues we addressed were business and performance recovery, profitability, the cost of doing business and labor-related issues that have been impacting our region. Employment is still a challenge, as we are seeing ongoing challenges around revenue. We are seeing where food and beverage revenue is increasing, as well as hotel increases are driving up our employment issues. So, we are still having labor shortages in the region,” Madden-Greig said.
“We are also seeing that the attractions, tour operators and the non-accommodation sectors held a line on price, where 50 percent opted not to increase their prices in 2022, while some did raise their process. In terms of profitability, we see that it is still lagging even though we have increased revenues. This is because of the higher operating costs and the debt servicing that many of our members are still facing. So, while profits improved in 2022, up to 67 percent reported a loss in 2021, and nearly one in five businesses reported a loss last year.”