According to www.Dutchnews.nl Airbnb has for the first time revealed that its landlords hosted 2.5 million overnight stays in Amsterdam in 2017. The landlords had 800,000 visitors, who stayed an average of 3.4 days – almost twice as long as the typical stay in a hotel or guest house that year, the company claims. Based on these figures, the 19,000 hosts would have rented out rooms or their entire property for an average of 132 nights in the year (36% average occupancy).
The numbers are revealed in a report written by consultancy Ecorys and commissioned by Airbnb, and which looks at the impact of three proposals by Amsterdam city government to control spiraling levels of tourism.
On October 10th the city government announced its intention to ban Airbnb rentals entirely in three parts of the city, including the red-light district, due to the perceived negative impacts on social cohesion, rising house prices and inequality. Next year, the maximum number of days that private house owners can rent to tourists will be limited to 30 days, from the current 60.
Meanwhile, Dutch MPs have proposed treating home rental infringement as a fiscal crime and cracking down on tax evasion. The government aims to create a national registration scheme for private rentals within a year, following concerns about illegal rentals and ‘overtourism’.
The new Ecorys report, however, points out that Airbnb accommodation – not including other short-term rental brokers such as Booking.com – represents a modest 11.9% of all overnight stays in the Dutch capital. It also claims that its guests are responsible for more than a fifth of the €2.3 billion spent in Amsterdam. New rules limiting private rentals to 30 nights a year will, the report says, result in 310,000 fewer overnight stays while new hotels in the pipeline will add 3.7 million annual overnight stays by 2022.
‘Despite these rules [to control tourism] in the years ahead many more tourists will come to Amsterdam…The number of visitors is expected to grow by about 2.1 million,’ says the report. It also argues that Airbnb apartments are spread over the city more than hotels, which are concentrated in the central areas. ‘Measures aimed at curbing Airbnb-related tourism…will have a limited effect on the total numbers in Amsterdam,’ it adds in its conclusions. ‘But because Airbnb guests spend more on average, the effect on spending will be relatively larger.’
Bernard D’heygere, a spokesman for Airbnb, told DutchNews.nl the company has written to Amsterdam council to organize a ‘round table’ discussion with other tourist-related organizations, and the business has said it welcomes a registration scheme. A spokesperson for Amsterdam city council said that the figures in the Ecorys report match the amounts Airbnb transfers in tourist tax. ‘We are aware of the invitation from Airbnb for the round table,’ she added. ‘However, I’d like to point out that the city of Amsterdam is already in contact will all kinds of stakeholders in the tourism sector and this topic is a high priority for both the municipal council, mayor and deputy mayors.’ DutchNews.nl has asked Airbnb for the full dataset behind the new report, and a comment.
This article was edited on October 12 to reflect Airbnb’s answers to questions.
A year after two devastating hurricanes swept the territory, life in the U.S. Virgin Islands has mostly returned to normal – mostly. Visitors are returning on cruise ships and to stay in V.I. hotels. But half of the territory’s hotel rooms remain out of operation, which has held down visitation and tourism revenues. (Note: through the end of July 2018 air arrivals to the USVI were down 49.5% compared with the same period of 2017 and cruise visitor arrivals were down 20.4% during the same period).
The good news is many hotels are open and more are reopening every month. But many big ones are still closed.
– St. Thomas’ largest hotel, the Marriott Frenchman’s Reef, whose 479 rooms comprise a quarter of all St. Thomas hotel rooms, is closed and will be closed in 2019. They hope to reopen early in 2020.
– Sugar Bay Resort and Spa has 150 of its 300 rooms open for relief workers only. Its owners are trying to sell and there is no projected reopening date for regular guests. The Carlton Group is managing the sale. A Carlton Group news release about the sale says “ownership is highly motivated to make a deal and is offering the property at well below replacement cost.”
“Based on reasonable assumptions, inclusive of a full renovation of the property, you will have an all-in basis of under $150k per key which will provide you with a huge profit upon stabilization,” the announcement reads. For 300 rooms, that suggests a price in the neighborhood of $45 million.
Both of St. John’s largest hotels are still closed: the Westin St. John Resort Villas with 252 rooms and Caneel Bay Resort with 166 rooms. The Westin is scheduled to reopen in January. Caneel Bay, which is inside the federal V.I. National Park, is in limbo while Congress considers legislation to grant the owners a long-term lease.
St. Croix’s two biggest hotels are also out of operation. Divi Carina Bay Resort, St. Croix’s largest resort, with 192 rooms, expects to reopen sometime in 2019. Carambola, St. Croix’s second largest with 151 rooms, does not yet have a projected opening date. The hotel is owned by the territory’s pension system, which aims to sell it.
The largest fully operational hotel on St. Thomas is the Margaritaville Wyndham Hotel Club, with 175 rooms. Frenchman’s Cove with 150 rooms is also open.
The St. Thomas Great Bay Ritz Carlton is not operating under the Ritz Carlton banner but the facility is open as Great Bay Resort, with 80 of its 180 rooms available.
On St. Croix, the largest open hotel is the Buccaneer, east of Christiansted, with 138 rooms. In the town of Christiansted, the Hotel Caravelle is open, with 44 rooms, and the Holger Dansk has 42. There are many smaller hotels open too.
According to the V.I. Hotel and Tourism Association, at the end of September 1,460 hotel rooms were operational in the territory among its membership, with 1,039 on St. Thomas and St. John and 421 on St. Croix.
By the 2019 tourism season that should rise to nearly 2,000: the VIHTA projects 1,465 rooms for St. Thomas-St. John and Divi Carina Bay Resort’s owners say they plan to reopen in the summer of 2019, adding 192 rooms on St. Croix.
Most, but not all V.I. hotels are in the VIHTA membership listings. For example, Grande Bay Resort is not listed one way or another but shows room availability on Hotels.com.
There are also a lot of Airbnb accommodations. Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty told senators in August there are 830 Airbnb listings in St. Thomas, 250 in St. John, and 350 in St. Croix. At that point, St. Thomas had received 10,200 visitors staying in Airbnb properties, St. John had received 2,200 guests, and 4,800 people had stayed in Airbnb locations on St. Croix. And there are other, non-Airbnb rentals.
(Note: Airbnb recently announced that bookings for its properties listed in the USVI were up 600% in 2018 compared to 2017).
But before the storms, the territory had around 4,500 hotel rooms and will remain well below that level for some time.
V.I. Hotel and Tourism Association listing of U.S. Virgin Islands hotels and their status at the beginning of October, 2018:
St. Thomas-St. John hotels open as of October 2018
– Frenchman’s Cove: open; 156 rooms.
– Margaritaville: open; 174 rooms.
– Great Bay Resort, formerly the Ritz Carlton: 80 are open now but not under the Ritz brand. The rest (180 rooms) are projected to open late 2019.
– Gallows Point: open; 60 rooms.
– Bolongo Bay: open; 60 rooms.
– Emerald Beach: open; 90 rooms.
– Lindberg Bay: open; 43 rooms.
– Mafolie Hotel: open; 20 rooms.
– Islandview Guesthouse: open; 9 rooms.
– Green Iguana: open; 9 rooms.
– Windward Passage: open but with limited services; 90 rooms.
– Secret Harbor: open; 69 rooms.
– Point Pleasant: open; 59 rooms.
St. Thomas-St. John hotels still closed as of October 2018
– Frenchman’s Reef: closed, projected to open in early 2020; 479 rooms.
– Sugar Bay: 150 rooms are open to relief workers only. No opening date yet; total 300 rooms.
– Caneel Bay: closed, no opening date projected; 166 rooms.
– Westin Resort: closed, projected to open January of 2019; 252 rooms.
– Island Beachcomber: closed; to be demolished.
– Ritz Carlton Club: closed, projected to open in November of 2018; 105 rooms.
– Elysian: closed, projected to open before the end of the year; 69 rooms.
– Bluebeard’s Beachclub: closed, projected to open by the end of 2019; 74 rooms.
– Bluebeard’s Castle: closed, projected to open in 2019; 82 rooms.
– Flamboyan: closed, projected to open in 2019; 37 rooms.
St. Croix hotels open as of October 2018
– The Buccaneer: open; 138 rooms.
– Arawak: open, 14 rooms.
– Holger Dansk: open; 42 rooms.
– Hotel Caravelle: open; 44 rooms.
– Sand Castle on the Beach: open; 21 rooms.
– Tamarind Beach: open; 39 rooms.
– The Palms at Pelican Cove: open; 40 rooms.
– The Fred: open; 11 rooms.
– Club Comanche: open; 23 rooms.
– Cottages by the Sea: open; 21 rooms.
– Inn on Strand Street: open; 28 rooms.
St. Croix hotels still closed as of October 2018
– Carambola: closed 151 rooms.
– Divi Carina Bay: closed, projected to re-open in 2019; 192 rooms.
Cuba’s Ministry of Tourism revises its forecast for 2018 visitor arrivals downwards to 4.75 million.
The Cuban Ministry of Tourism has revised its forecast for the total number of visitor arrivals for 2018 downwards from 5.0 million to 4.75 million as a result of declines in the number of arrivals in the first half of 2018. The revised annual total should still exceed the total for 2017, which was estimated to be 4.7 million visitors.
Between January and June 2018, the volume of total visitor arrivals fell by 5.7% compared to the same six months of 2017 with visitor arrivals from the US (excluding visits by Cuban Americans) falling by 23.6% as a result of changes in the US government’s regulations regarding visits to Cuba.
According to the Las Vegas Visitor and Convention Authority Las Vegas saw the volume of visitors decrease by 0.2% in August 2018, falling from 3,562,900 visitors in August 2017 to 3,555,200 arrivals in August 2018.
Las Vegas had 147,244 hotel rooms in August and achieved an average city-wide room occupancy of 87.7%, an ADR of $115.67, (up 2.1% compared with August 2017) and a RevPar of $101.44, up 1.1%, also compared with August 2017.
Through the first eight months of 2018 Las Vegas saw a 1.1% decrease in the volume of visitors, falling from 28,547,800 arrivals in the first eight months of 2017 to 28,232,600 visitors in the same eight months of 2018.
Las Vegas achieved an average city-wide room occupancy of 88.9% in the first eight months of 2018, an ADR of $127.28, (down 0.3% compared with August 2017) and a RevPar of $113.06, down 1.5%, also compared with the same eight months of 2017.
Americans are the most confident in the U.S. economy in 18 years and the level of optimism is not far from an all-time high, a closely followed survey shows. The consumer confidence index climbed to 138.4 in September from a revised 134.7 in August, the Conference Board said Tuesday. That’s the highest level since September 2000 — near the end of the Internet boom. It’s also close to the record peak of 144.7 set in May of the same year.
The present situation index, a measure of current conditions, edged up to 173.1 from 172.8. The future expectations index jumped to 115.3 from 109.3. Americans expect business conditions to improve, and they say plenty of jobs are available. They also think their own finances will get better with incomes rising.
The economy is still growing rapidly more than nine years after the end of the Great Recession. Even a widening trade rift with China, the imposition of tariffs and a Federal Reserve bent on raising U.S. interest rates have done little to slow the economy down.
“These historically high confidence levels should continue to support healthy consumer spending and should be welcome news for retailers as they begin gearing up for the holiday season,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board.
Hawaii saw the volume of air arrivals increase by 3.6% in August 2018, growing from 815,949 arrivals in August 2017 to 845,072 arrivals in August 2018. Air arrivals from the USA grew by 6.4%, from 501,626 in August 2017 to 533,362 in August 2018, but declined 0.6% from Japan (to 159,395 air arrivals) and by 4.7% from Canada (to 28,163 air arrivals). Tourist spending in August grew by 1.4% to $1.41 billion.
Through the first eight months of 2018 Hawaii saw a 7.4% increase in the volume of air arrivals, growing from 6,239,078 arrivals in 2017 to 6,700,520 air arrivals in 2018. Air arrivals from the USA increased by 9.7% in the same period, growing from 3,995,609 air arrivals in 2017 to 4,381,597 air arrivals in 2018, and grew 0.9% from Japan (to 1,044,039 air arrivals) and by 4.6% from Canada (to 360,828 air arrivals).
Total tourist spending increased by 8.8% in the first eight months of 2018, growing from $11.3 billion in 2017 to $12.3 billion in 2018. Average spend per visitor per day grew by 2.2%, from $199.20 per day in 2017 to $203.50 in 2018, while average spend per person per trip increased by 1.5%, from $1,795.50 in 2017 to $1,822.90 in 2018.
In the first eight months of 2018 33.4% of Hawaii’s tourists were visiting for the first time with 66.6% having visited the state before.
First new-build Waldorf-Astoria in the Caribbean to open in 2020 and is one of 15 new hotels approved in Antigua-Barbuda.
The first Waldorf-Astoria in the Caribbean is to be located in Antigua and is one of 15 new hotels that have been approved for construction in Antigua and Barbuda, tourism minister Charles ‘Max’ Fernandez told reporters during a recent product update briefing at the CTO’s State of the Tourism Industry Conference in The Bahamas.
Scheduled to open in 2020, the Waldorf Astoria Antigua will be located in a cove along the southeastern coast of Antigua at Morris Bay Beach, roughly 20 minutes from V.C. Bird International Airport. It will offer 95 hotel rooms and 25 branded villas as well as a world-class spa.
The other approved properties include Marriott Autograph Collection, Rosewood and a Best Western, The Royalton Antigua, Elegant Hotels’ Hodges Bay Resort and Spa and The Hammock Cove by Elite Island, in total representing 2,535 rooms and units. Antigua currently has 60 hotels and just over 3,000 hotel rooms.
Sunwing Travel Group’s hotel division will begin operating six of Rex Resorts’ Caribbean hotels as part of a newly formed strategic alliance, effective December 1, 2018. As part of this landmark agreement, Sunwing’s growing hotel division plans to make significant improvements to each of the resorts over the coming years.
The six Rex Resorts will be absorbed within two of the hotel division’s brands: the new luxury boutique hotel collection, Mystique Resorts and the popular mid-market chain, Starfish Resorts. Mystique Royal St Lucia will be the second addition to the Mystique Resorts brand, with the first opening later this month in Holbox, Mexico. The Starfish Resorts brand will see five new additions: Starfish Discovery Bay Resort, Barbados; Starfish Halcyon Cove Resort, Antigua; Starfish St Lucia Resort, St Lucia; Starfish Grenada Resort, Grenada, and Starfish Tobago Resort, Tobago.
International tourist arrivals grew seven percent in 2017, the highest increase since 2010, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s latest collection of Tourism Highlights. Growth in arrivals was echoed by a strong increase in exports generated by tourism, which reached US$ 1.6 trillion in 2017, making tourism the world’s third-largest export sector.
UNWTO Tourism Highlights 2018 Edition shows that international tourist arrivals reached a total of 1,323 million in 2017, some 84 million more than the previous year and a new record. The sector has now seen uninterrupted growth in arrivals for eight straight years. Last year’s growth was the highest since 2010, led by the regions of Europe and Africa, which received increases in arrivals of eight and nine percent, respectively.
International tourism receipts increased by five percent in 2017. In addition to the US$ 1.3 trillion in receipts that destinations earned, international tourism generated another US$ 240 billion from international passenger transport taken by non-residents. This raised total tourism exports to US$ 1.6 trillion, or US$ 4 billion a day, which corresponds to seven percent of the world’s exports.
These strong 2017 results were driven by sustained travel demand for destinations across all world regions, including a firm recovery by those that have suffered from security challenges in recent years. Strong outbound demand from virtually all source markets, including rebounds from major emerging economies Brazil and the Russian Federation, benefited both advanced and emerging destinations. The new report also illustrates that China continues to lead global outbound travel, having spent US$ 258 billion on international tourism in 2017. This is almost one-fifth of the world’s total tourism spending in 2017, which stood at US$ 1.3 trillion, some US$ 94 billion more than in 2016.
Among the top markets and destinations in the world, in 2017 Spain rose to become the world’s second most-visited destination in terms of international arrivals, after France. Mexico’s growth as a tourist hotspot is truly incredible. Since being ranked the 15th most visited destination in 2013, the country has jumped 62 percent to its present sixth-place ranking. This increase is the fastest for any large global destination. Japan entered the top ten in tourism earnings in tenth place after six straight years of double-digit growth. The Russian Federation re-entered the top ten of world spenders at eighth place.
Available data for early 2018 has since confirmed international tourism’s continued strong growth, with a year-on-year increase of six percent in arrivals between January and April.
American Airlines announces new non-stop Saturday’s only service from New York La Guardia (LGA) to Aruba commencing June 8 2019.
On October 2nd American Airlines announced a number of enhancements to its 2019 international schedule including a new non-stop Saturday’s only service from New York La Guardia (LGA) to Aruba commencing June 8th 2019. The flight will use a B737-800.
As well AA announced: -
Jim Hepple is an Assistant Professor at the University of Aruba and is Managing Director of Tourism Analytics.