Editorial taken from TODAY, published April 9th, 2010
The projection Tourism Commissioner Frans Richardson presented in the Island Council on March 29th seems to be more wishful thinking than anything else.
The Commissioner said that tourism would grow between 3 and 5 percent this year, but the Hospitality and Trade Association has its doubts about that number. Such a projection could be based on hotel bookings, but those bookings are not there. SHTA-projectmanager Robert Dubourcq says. This is because travelers tend to book on very short notice these days.
It is therefore impossible to predict today what hotel occupancy will look like in November or December. Hotels reported a 15.8 percent upswing in bookings for February, but even that figure does not tell the whole story, because the sector has been heavily discounting to encourage tourists to come to the island. While occupancy may be up for this particular month, profitability most likely took a hit.
This is a time for realistic assessments, because they drive the action that is necessary to keep the local economy afloat. The Commissioner’s prediction unfortunately does not fall in this category.
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