FRIDAY, JULY 13: Group bookings at hotels look set to fall dramatically in the next six months.
A tourism study predicts corporate travel will slump 24 per cent in the second half of 2012, compared to last year.
John Harvey, CEO of the Bermuda Hotel Association, said that every effort would be made to fill the empty rooms.
He told the Bermuda Sun: “Our group business is definitely down for the second half of 2012 and this obviously affects our hotel occupancy figures.
“But our transient business is holding its own, which is good news.
“We have been hit by one major group pulling out this year and State Farm has not brought in as many people as they did last year.
“Those are the main reasons why we are seeing this drop in group bookings for the second half of 2012.
“We will do everything we can to address it and try and turn it around.”
Mr Harvey said the island’s big hotels ‘would not rest on their laurels’.
He added: “The challenge is to get more groups to come back to the island but these are still tough times.
“Efforts are being made to fill the slots and maybe we need to be more aggressive in pursuing this area.
“Hopefully in a month or so we will have gone some way to improving the situation we are faced with.”
The Sun contacted the Southampton Fairmont Resort, which deals with a large share of the island’s corporate group bookings, but it did not respond to our requests for a comment on the situation.