By Barbara De Lollis, USA TODAY
Plan to stay in a luxury hotel in the Caribbean this winter?
STR’s Jan Freitag gave Virtuoso luxury travel agents a rundown of luxury hotel rate trends across the globe earlier this week during Virtuoso’s annual TravelMart convention in Las Vegas.
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What really stood out in his report, however, was the fact that the Caribbean is the only region in the world where luxury hotel rates are higher this year than in 2008.
As most of you well know, 2008 was the year that rates at many hotels hit their peak before the recession hammered them down.
The Caribbean has few hotel rooms compared to other regions, so while this rate trend may not be entirely shocking – it’s still interesting for Caribbean winter travelers.
Rates for 2011 vs. 2008, according to STR:
- Caribbean: $395 vs. $380 (4% up)
- Americas: $236 vs. $287 (18% down)
- Europe: $390 vs. $376 (4% down)
- AsiaPacific: $229 vs. $233 (2% down)
- Middle East/Africa: $289 vs. $290 (flat)
In other Caribbean hotel news, STR revealed in a separate report that the number of hotel rooms scheduled to open in the next four years rose nearly 9% in July vs. a year ago to 17,200.
The number of rooms in the construction phase – or those that would open within about two years – rose almost 17% vs. a year ago, the report says.
Among the countries in the region, Haiti reported the largest expected growth (29%) if all of its 492 rooms in the total active pipeline open, but it’s off a small base. The Bahamas reported the largest number of hotel rooms in the works: about 1,600, 10% more than a year ago, STR’s report says.