NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Demand for off-resort businesses or vacation rentals persisted during the first quarter of 2020 despite ongoing concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recently released Central Bank report.
In its quarterly economic review, the bank pointed to the private vacation rental market, and data from AirDNA .
“Specifically, total room nights sold rose by 13.4 percent, relative to the same period in 2019,” the bank stated.
“An analysis by rental category showed that bookings for hotel comparable listings grew by 30.2 per cent year-on-year, and by 11.5 percent for entire place listing.”
It further noted that the average occupancy rate for entire place listings edged up by a 0.7 percentage point to 52.5 percent over the first quarter of 2019, as the average daily room rate decreased by 3 percent to $383.41.
The bank said: “Conversely, the average occupancy rate for hotel comparable listings declined by 0.6 percentage points to 54.2 percent, with the average daily room rate reducing by 6.5 percent to $151.49.”
The regulator also noted that during the review quarter, total visitor arrivals to New Providence contracted sharply by 29.3 percent a turnaround from a 27 percent gain in the prior year.
Both sea and air passengers decreased, by 32.4 percent and 22.1 percent, respectively. Further, visitor arrivals to Grand Bahama reduced by 34.4 percent, extending the 19.5 percent falloff in 2019, amid respective declines of 58.9 percent and 30.9 percent in air and sea traffic.
In contrast, underpinned by a rise in sea arrivals (33.3 percent), total arrivals to the Family Islands grew by 21.1 percent, following a 0.8 percent retrenchment last year. However, the Family Island air component decreased sharply (45 percent), as resort facilities in Abaco remained under repair following Hurricane Dorian.