Hotels, inns and resorts in Tobago are reporting an increase in the occupancy rate for this year’s Carnival season, compared to last year. They explained they were hoping the season remained positive so visitors could be encouraged to return to the island throughout the year.
Plantations Beach Villas in Scarborough reported over 70 per cent occupancy from Carnival up until Easter owner Sean Clarke told Newsday on Thursday. He said most of the bookings were made by international visitors, “So far it’s looking better than last year.
"Last year from January to April 42 per cent. At this time we are always heavily booked with the international market because its winter time. After winter is when we have to see what will happen to us in Tobago with the sea bridge."
He said the Tobago villas suffered the most owing to the chaos on the air and sea bridge.
An official from Sunshine Holiday Apartments Ltd, located in Bon Accord, said the occupancy rate was higher than last year but the percentage remains low with only four out of 26 rooms booked for this Carnival season. “People are still calling but the only confirmation I have is the four rooms, last year I had five rooms booked.”
President of Tobago Unique Bed and Breakfast & Self-Catering Association, Kay Trotman is also reporting a fair occupancy rate of between 50 to 60 per cent for most of the members under the association. She said most of the reservations are form international arrivals.
“For those who are having fair occupancy is because they are repeat visits who are either coming for the before-Carnival relaxation or after-Carnival cooldown before going down to Trinidad to play mas.”
She said members under the association continued to have challenges with occupancy and have looked at long-term rentals. “However this year is much better than last year. Last year was no comparison to this year because of the issues on the sea bridge. I’m not sure what is contributing to this, if it is just returning international visitors or if it is from the Trinidad domestic market.”
Rainbow Resorts, located in Crown Point, is recording an 80 per cent occupancy rate. Newsday was told 25 per cent of those were international visitors and 70 per cent were from Trinidad. The resort is hoping to have more reservations as the week continued and no cancellations as there were last year.