Survey shows increased hotel occupancy projectionFriday, April 23, 2021
A survey conducted in April shows increased projected hotel occupancy over the previous months by 10 per cent, says president of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), Clifton Reader.
Reader in commenting on the various surveys conducted in December 2020 showed an occupancy average of 27-28 per cent, which then fell off in January, February and March to 21 per cent, due to travel restrictions announced by the US, Canada and the UK — the country's major tourist markets.
“We're looking now at April with 31 per cent, May with 34 per cent, June with 38 per cent, July is looking at 37 per cent, and August is looking at 38 per cent,” Reader said during the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce 2021 first quarter business and consumer confidence indices webinar earlier this week.
He pointed out that June is a popular month for weddings and that some weddings were deferred from earlier in the year or even from last year to this June.
Reader indicated that Jamaica was able to ramp up PCR testing for departing guests to the US and Canada, which brought back some amount of confidence to the market.
The JHTA president also lauded the resilient corridor, which he said has led to the less than one per cent positivity rate for departing guests to the US after staying at the hotels.
“Next year winter will definitely be happening, not quite 2019 levels but very close if we continue along these trends,” he said.
According to market research firm Destination Analysts, 86 per cent of Americans are now having tentative travel plans, 72.8 per cent expects to travel in the next few months, with 36.8 per cent visiting friends and family.
“I know the JHTA has started to market and it is showing in our figures that all these returning Jamaicans are ready and willing to come back home. In fact, throughout the pandemic, we were supporting between 25 and 37 per cent with locals and visiting friends and relatives. So it is a critical part of the market that we should not ever forget,” he said.
Reader noted that a survey carried by JHTA among 3,041 hotel workers, craft vendors, and attractions and transportation workers, indicated that 35 per cent of people at the point were ready to take the vaccine, 42 per cent were waiting to see and only 23 per cent said no.