The good news about the tourism sector is that it appears to have bottomed out.
Ostensibly, this means there’s only one way for that industry to go: up. According to the report, air arrivals on the island rose 4.5 percent compared to last year. Hotel occupancy was up more than 4 percent; revenue per available room is up about 9 per cent.
Cruise visitors are flat, a trend that the report’s authors expect to continue. Don’t expect cruise ships, in other words, to boost or dent the economy in coming years, according to the study.
“We continue to view tourism from a macro level as a slow growth industry. Our forecast for a rebound of 2.0 percent growth in 2014 remains consistent with our view of a more “normal” cruise ship schedule combined with stabilizing to slightly increasing air arrivals numbers.
“Over the longer term, however, we do not view the tourism sector as offering much in terms of higher growth (i.e. we see growth rates near 2-3 per cent for the longer run.)”
Additional hotel developments, meanwhile, are still exercises in the hypothetical. Breaking ground for any such project is still a ways off, according to the report.
“There continue to be discussions about new hotel developments at Arial Sands, Morgan’s Point, Fairmont Southampton and St. George’s.
“This would add to the current work at Fairmont Hamilton and Pink Beach but all these projects require financing and then take time to break ground,” states the report. We anticipate that an announcement from the government on new casino legislation may spur some hotel development but new casino hotel funding is still difficult.”