The Trinidad Hotels Restaurants and Tourism Association (THRTA) says larger properties (100 rooms and over) are achieving 100 per cent occupancy while most of the independent smaller properties (under 100 rooms) are trending between 85 per cent to 100 per cent over this Carnival week.
In a media release on the issue of occupancy rates for the season, the THRTA said: “Based on packages marketed, hoteliers are reporting average the length-of-stay (by guests) ranging between five to eight days and no major cancellations have been noted during the period leading up to Carnival week.
“A few of our member hotel properties in East Trinidad (in the proximity of Piarco International Airport) are reporting occupancy trends of 90-100 per cent during this upcoming week.”
The association also said there continues to be growing instances of home-sharing activity in Trinidad during the Carnival season, particularly in the Port-of-Spain area, either directly or through platforms like Airbnb, with private home-owners listing their properties on digital applications and accommodating international visitors in their homes. However, the THRTA warned about this trend, saying the Government could lose out on revenue.
“If this continues unchecked, there is the real potential for ongoing taxation leakage, increased foreign exchange hoarding and destination reputational risk.
“The THRTA believes that the Government has the primary role to create a level playing field and ensure all forms of accommodation in Trinidad are registered, operating with minimum health and safety standards and contributing to the economy via taxation payments.”
The association also said with respect to annualised occupancy rates over the past three years, the THRTA uses reports from Smith Travel Report (STR) (international data collection agency) to measure and monitor occupancy data from hotels in Trinidad.
It noted that the contributing data in this report is derived from 1,500 (or 60 per cent) of the 2,500 hotel and guest house rooms within Destination Trinidad (mainly based in Port-of-Spain).
The THRTA noted that it is challenging the Tourism Trinidad Limited and the Ministry of Tourism to move towards resuming the promotion and marketing of Destination Trinidad, which has been non-existent over the past two years, through direct engagement and collaboration with national tourism stakeholders and the funding of the allocations already provided for these programmes in the national budget 2018/2019.