Marriott International expects to expand its footprint in Mexico by more than 50 percent, by the end of 2023.
The hotelier signed deals for 15 hotels in Mexico – including the first EDITION contract for the Caribbean and Latin America – as it “continues to be our biggest and most successful market in the region,” said a company spokesperson.
With these new deals, Marriott's total Mexico pipeline now features nearly 50 properties consisting of 8,000 rooms across the country, from Mexicali to Cancun, including key gateway cities such as Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey; and resort markets like Cancun, Los Cabos, and Puerto Vallarta.
As of Dec. 31, 2018, Marriott had 85 open properties in Mexico, representing about 34 percent of its 249 properties across 21 brands in the Caribbean and Latin American region.
Marriott's signed pipeline in Mexico consists of nine luxury projects totaling 1,000 rooms, including two new projects. The 100-room Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Riviera Nayarit and branded residential units will be nestled within the Costa Canuva master plan development, set apart by its secluded location and private beach.
The second luxury signing is the Riviera Maya Mexico EDITION in Kanai, the first EDITION brand property in the region.
This year, Marriott is expected open its first ultra-luxury Ritz-Carlton Reserve property, called Zadun, in Los Cabos, as part of the Puerto Los Cabos master plan development.
Meeting demand for select-service properties, Marriott also signed more than 4,000 rooms across six brands: Fairfield by Marriott, AC Hotels by Marriott, Courtyard by Marriott, Residence Inn by Marriott, Aloft, and Four Points by Sheraton.
According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority, Hawaii saw the volume of air arrivals increase by 4.1% in March 2019, growing from 890,366 arrivals in March 2018 to 927,246 arrivals in March 2019. Air arrivals from the USA grew by 7.6%, from 577,387 in March 2018 to 621,474 in March 2019, grew by 0.4% from Japan (to 139,741 air arrivals). Air arrivals grew by 1.3% from Canada (to 75,610 air arrivals). Tourist spending in March fell by 2.6% to $1.503 billion.
Through the first three months of 2019 Hawaii saw a 2.6% increase in the volume of air arrivals, growing from 2,438,647 arrivals in the first three months of 2018 to 2,502,636 air arrivals in the same three months of 2019. Air arrivals from the USA increased by 5.2% in the first three months of 2019, growing from 1,529,957 air arrivals in 2018 to 1,609,481 air arrivals in the same three months of 2019, increased by 2.2% from Japan (to 391,228 air arrivals) and grew by 0.9% from Canada (to 209,525 air arrivals).
Total tourist spending by air visitors decreased by 2.4% in the first three months of 2019, falling from $4.62 billion in 2018 to $4.51 billion in 2019. Average spend per visitor per day fell by 2.6%, from $202.8 per day in 2018 to $197.5 in 2019, while average spend per person per trip fell by 4.9%, from $1,893.40 in 2018 to $1,800.60 in 2019.
In the first three months of 2019 30.0% of Hawaii’s tourists were visiting for the first time with 70.0% having visited the state before.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority’s Tourism Research Division recently issued a report on the state’s hotel performance for March 2019. The report utilizes data compiled by STR, Inc., which conducts the largest and most comprehensive survey of hotel properties in the Hawaiian Islands.
March 2019 Hotel Performance
In March 2019, RevPAR for Hawaii hotels statewide declined by 4.3% to $226.83, with ADR declining by 1.1% to $284.90 and occupancy falling by 2.7 percentage points to 79.6 percent, all compared with March 2018.
Hawaii hotel room revenues fell by 5.9% to $373.3 million. There were more than 27,200 fewer available room nights (-1.6%) in March and approximately 66,850 fewer occupied room nights (-4.9%) compared to a year ago. Several hotel properties across the state were closed for renovation or had rooms out of service for renovation during March. However, the number of rooms out of service may be under-reported.
All classes of Hawaii hotel properties statewide reported RevPAR declines in March. Luxury Class properties reported RevPAR of $443 (-7.2%) with ADR of $583 (-3.1%) and occupancy of 75.9 percent (-3.4 percentage points). Midscale & Economy Class hotels reported RevPAR of $150 (-2.9%) with ADR of $182 (+0.8%) and occupancy of 82.0 percent (-3.1 percentage points).
Hotel properties in Hawaii’s four island counties all reported lower RevPAR for March. Maui County hotels reported the highest RevPAR in March at $336 (-1.4%) with ADR of $421 (-1.6%) and flat occupancy (79.8%, +0.2 percentage points).
Oahu hotels reported lower occupancy (80.4%, -2.3 percentage points) and flat ADR ($230, -0.2%) for March.
Hotels on the island of Hawaii continued to face challenges in March, with RevPAR dropping 11.2 percent to $216, ADR to $272 (-4.9%) and occupancy to 79.2 percent (-5.7 percentage points).
RevPAR for Kauai hotels fell to $213 (-14.6%) in March, with declines in both ADR to $286 (-4.5%) and occupancy to 74.4 percent (-8.8 percentage points).
First Quarter Results.
For the first three months of 2019, Hawaii’s hotels statewide saw RevPAR decline by 3.3% to $235.94, with ADR unchanged at $292 and occupancy falling from 83.5% in the first three months of 2018 to 80.8% in the first quarter of 2019.
For the first quarter, Hawaii hotel room revenues fell by 4.7 percent to $1.13 billion compared to the $1.18 billion earned in the first quarter of 2018. There were more than 74,300 fewer available room nights (-1.5%) in the first quarter and approximately 190,500 fewer occupied room nights (-4.7%) compared to a year ago (Figure 2). Several hotel properties across the state were closed for renovation or had rooms out of service for renovation during the first quarter.
All classes of Hawaii hotel properties statewide reported RevPAR declines in the first quarter of 2019 except Upper Midscale Class properties ($134, +0.6%). Luxury Class properties reported RevPAR of $452 (-5.4%) with ADR of $594 (-1.2%) and occupancy of 76.1 percent (-3.3 percentage points). At the other end of the price scale, Midscale & Economy Class hotels reported RevPAR of $155 (-5.0%) with ADR of $187 (-0.5%) and occupancy of 83.1 percent (-3.9 percentage points).
Hotel Results for Hawaii’s Four Counties
Hotel properties in Hawaii’s four island counties all reported RevPAR decreases in the first quarter of 2019. Maui County hotels led the state overall in RevPAR at $337 (-2.7%), with ADR at $428 (-0.9%) and occupancy at 78.6 percent (-1.5 percentage points).
Kauai hotels earned RevPAR of $228 (-10.2%), with flat ADR at $305 (+0.2%) and lower occupancy of 74.8 percent (-8.7 percentage points).
Hotels on the island of Hawaii reported a decline in RevPAR to $225 (-9.7%), due to a combination of decreases in both ADR ($285, -2.0%) and occupancy (79.1%, -6.7 percentage points).
Oahu hotels earned slightly lower RevPAR at $196 (-0.9%), with ADR at $236 (+0.8%) and occupancy of 83.0 percent (-1.4 percentage points).
Comparison to International Markets
When compared to international “sun and sea” destinations, Hawaii’s counties were in the middle of the pack for RevPAR in the first quarter of 2019. Hotels in the Maldives ranked highest in RevPAR at $575 (+4.5%) followed by Maui at $337 with Aruba third at $315 (+11.2%). Kauai, the island of Hawaii, and Oahu ranking sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively.
The Maldives also led in ADR at $737 (+5.2%) in the first quarter, followed by French Polynesia at $497 (-1.1%). Maui County ranked fifth, followed by Kauai and the island of Hawaii. Oahu ranked ninth.
Oahu trailed Phuket (84.5%, -6.3 percentage points) in occupancy for sun and sea destinations in the first quarter. The island of Hawaii, Maui County and Kauai ranked fourth, fifth and ninth, respectively.
About the Hawaii Hotel Performance Report
The Hawaii Hotel Performance Report is produced using hotel survey data compiled by STR, Inc., the largest survey of its kind in Hawaii. The survey generally excludes properties with under 20 lodging units, such as small bed and breakfasts, youth hostels, single-family vacation rentals, cottages, individually rented vacation condominiums and sold timeshare units no longer available for hotel use. The data has been weighted both geographically and by class of property to compensate for any over and/or under representation of hotel survey participants by location and type.
For March 2019, the survey included 162 properties representing 47,794 rooms, or 89.9 percent of all lodging properties with 20 rooms or more in the Hawaiian Islands, including full service, limited service, and condominium hotels.
Tables of hotel performance statistics, including data presented in the report are available for viewing online at:
By Youri Kemp Caribbean News Now associate managing editor
WASHINGTON, USA — While addressing the second annual Washington DC Panel Discussion Series hosted by the Boston University's Global Development Policy Centre and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Barbadian prime minister, Mia Mottley stated that her government is in the process of founding a select committee to review concessions given to businesses in the hotel and tourism sector.
Mottley also stated that the hotel and tourism sector, on the whole, can contribute a lot more to the economy of Barbados.
By directly referencing Sandals Resorts International (SRI), owned by Jamaican business magnate, Gordon 'Butch' Stewart, Mottley said she recalled that in her budget presentation in March that she had to remind 'a large investor in the Caribbean that we don't run a company, we run a country and we don't have the ability to play fast and loose with the kind of egregious requests and that I consider the rule of law paramount because Barbados has one asset, its reputation.
Mottley also added: 'The last government awarded tax incentives that were exceedingly egregious over a 25-year period, fully, and then another 15 years after that. They wanted even more on top of that. Also, I made the point that I will honour the agreements of the last government because not to honour them would cause immeasurable consequences to our reputation and to honour them will cause a large measurable hit.'
SRI and the Mottley administration have been engaged in intense negotiations over Mottley's claims that the concessions granted to SRI by the previous administration were way too excessive on top of Stewart's SRI claiming wanting more concessions on top of those already granted by the previous government, in which the Mottley administration said flatly no!
Stewart claimed that he was not asking the Mottley led Barbados Labour Party for more concessions, but merely just a continuation of the arrangements already made by the previous administration to which Mottley had already agreed, but not before she delivered a series of new requests made by Stewart and SRI to her new government for greater concessions than before that Stewart claimed they never made or intended to make.
During Mottley's maiden budget speech to parliament in 2018, she revealed that Sandals was seeking to be 'indemnified if any future parliament at any stage in the next 40 years were ever to tax them for anything in the industry for any goods or services that others in the industry were paying taxes for.'
The prime minister also said in parliament: 'We welcome Sandals here and the jobs it has provided and everything it is doing in Barbados. We are certainly open for business, but it cannot be at any price. And in our current predicament in the middle of an IMF program Mr Speaker, there is a limit even to what we can accept.'
All of this has apparently affected SRI's plans to start development on their US$400 million 'Beaches' project which had already started at the old Almond property in St Peter and one that Mottley and her team had already toured along with Stewart and SRI officials.
While SRI claims that the current disagreement on taxation and concessions with the Mottley government in no way affected its 'excellent relationship' with Barbados and that it would continue to 'work toward doing more and more for the island because we remain confident that Barbados is in good hands,' rumours over whether or not the project would move forward have started to swirl and the project is in doubt.
There is no word on when the select committee comprised of private sector, and public sector officials will be formalized and begin their investigatory work on concessions in the tourism/hotel sector; and there is no further delineation as to what would be expected from the review committee, what powers they would have and what the government would do in the face of information found and presented by the select committee.
The Conference Board Launches Global Consumer Confidence Index
The softening in consumer confidence in many mature markets was offset by strengthening in many emerging markets. Half of the 36 mature economies in the survey had an increase in confidence; 15 of 28 emerging markets also saw an increase in confidence.
“Despite the high levels of confidence globally, consumers in different markets have different views about where the economy is heading in 2019,” said Bart van Ark, Global Chief Economist of The Conference Board. “In more than half the countries surveyed, consumers expressing concerns about the current state of the economy outnumbered those who were not concerned. And, the majority of global consumers do not expect conditions to become more favorable over the next twelve months. Despite consumers’ caution with regard to spending, a pullback does not appear imminent. However, the current results seem to indicate that global consumer confidence may be peaking, suggesting that global economic growth may gradually slow in the coming quarters.”
Consumers Confident About Job Prospects, Personal Finances
Globally, consumers remain confident about job prospects, with 58 percent saying conditions will be “excellent” or “good” in the next 12 months. In particular, Asian and North American consumers had a positive outlook on jobs. In Europe, consumers in several countries expressed concern about job prospects, including France, Italy, Spain and the UK. Job prospects were also weaker in Latin America and the Middle East.
As many as 63 percent of consumers had a positive outlook about their personal finances, reflecting similarly strong levels in previous quarters. But consumers are much more pessimistic in some countries, including Argentina, Venezuela, France, Italy, Russia and Turkey.
“Globally, despite relatively strong sentiment regarding job prospects and personal finances, consumers are more cautious about spending intentions, with only half of them stating this is an ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ time to spend,” said Denise Dahlhoff, Senior Researcher, Consumer Research at The Conference Board. “Spending intentions appear to have softened somewhat in North America and Europe. However, consumers in Asia-Pacific showed an upward trend on spending intentions.”
Index is Latest Addition to The Conference Board’s Economic Indicators Program.
The Global Consumer Confidence Index is the latest addition to The Conference Board’s portfolio of economic indicators, which includes the Consumer Confidence Index® for the US, The Conference Board Measure of CEO Confidence™, the Employment Trends Index™, The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine® Index, and Leading Economic Indexes for 12 countries, the Euro Area and globally.
The Global Consumer Confidence Index is based on responses from over 32,000 online consumers in 64 markets throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, and North America. It was acquired from Nielsen, which first began the survey in 2005. Nielsen, which is a leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch, will continue to collaborate with The Conference Board on conducting the global survey.
“This new index series represents an important expansion of the global coverage of our economic indicators program,” said van Ark. “While informative to our members and the public on consumer expectations worldwide, it also strengthens our forecasting and research programs to provide trusted insights for what’s ahead.”
The series for the world, the 64 countries covered and regional aggregates as well as information on several components of the index, including job prospects, personal finances and spending intentions, are released on a timely basis in summary format to the public during the first two weeks of each quarter. Detailed data series are made available on a complimentary basis to members of The Conference Board.
Global Regional Highlights for First Quarter of 2019
Source: April 2019 Global Consumer Confidence Survey
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the world’s largest cruise industry trade organization, is releasing the latest global cruise passenger statistics. Playing a significant role in international tourism, cruising continues at a paced growth around the world with an almost 7 percent increase from 2017 to 2018, totaling 28.5 million passengers. Research also shows North American travelers continue to embrace cruising with an annual passenger increase of 9 percent (14.2 million passengers) in 2018.
While the cruise sector represents 2 percent of the overall global travel industry, this segment is on pace with international tourism worldwide. According to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, international tourist arrivals grew 6 percent in 2018, totaling 1.4 billion while cruise travel grew at almost 7 percent during the same timing.
“It is not surprising that cruise travel is on par with overall international tourism growth. Cruising makes international travel accessible for travelers worldwide and it is apparent in the 2018 CLIA global passenger findings,” said Kelly Craighead, president and CEO, CLIA. “From a renewed interest in cruises to the Mediterranean to a significant increase in adventure cruising, travelers are embracing cruise travel more than ever before.”
Cruise Passenger Insights Around the Globe.
Mediterranean Moves – Cruises in the Mediterranean are moving up in popularity with an impressive 8 percent increase from 2017 to 2018 totaling more than 4 million cruise passengers.
Shorter Cruises – Passengers are preferring shorter cruise durations. Seven-day cruise itineraries are up 9 percent while three-day and under cruises are also up 10 percent in 2018.
Caribbean Rebounds – Cruisers love the Caribbean and the latest insight reveal travel to the islands is still in full swing. An impressive 11.3 million cruise passengers traveled to the Caribbean in 2018 an annual increase of 6 percent.
Destination Alaska – As adventure travel continues to thrive, so do adventurous cruise destinations. Alaska has experienced double-digit growth with a year-over-year 17 percent increase in passengers in 2017 and another 13 percent increase in 2018 accounting for more than one million cruisers travelling to this destination.
Moderate Growth in Asia – When compared to the rapid increases of the past, 2018 saw moderate cruise passenger growth throughout Asia and China with a 5 percent increase in cruise passengers from the region totaling a still impressive 4.2 million.
Cruise Passenger Insights in North America
Cruise Travel on the Rise - North American passenger numbers reached 14.2 million in 2018, showing an increase of 9 percent from 2017.
Eyes on the Mediterranean – Globally, Mediterranean cruises grew substantially in popularity last year, totaling more than 4 million cruise passengers worldwide. Of those, more than700,000 passengers came from North America up 29 percent from the previous year.
Craving the Caribbean – Cruise travelers from North America dominate cruise travel to the easily accessible Caribbean. Continued growth in cruising to the Caribbean, Bahamas, and Bermuda, is up 7 percent to 9.8 million passengers in 2018.
Alaskan Adventures Preferred – Aligning with global insights, North American cruisers made up the significant portion of cruise passengers traveling to Alaska in 2018 with 906,019 cruise passengers increasing to 14 percent from 2017.
Additional Destinations - Other growing North American destinations include the Hawaii & North Atlantic Coast region, Mexico, California, and Pacific which increased 4 percent in 2018, totaling 1.3 million cruise passengers.
For the full findings on global cruise passenger statistics, please visit HERE. For an overview of work being done by CLIA and its cruise lines: https://cruising.org/sustainability.
According to the Government of Mexico’s SECTUR (Department of Tourism) the volume of international air arrivals to Mexico grew by 2.2% in February 2019 from 1,667,635 in February 2018 to 1,704,217 in February of this year. The volume of air arrivals from the USA fell by 2.4% in February, to 862,063 while the volume from Canada grew by 9.7%, to 343,330. These two markets generated 70.7% of all international air arrivals in February 2019.
International air arrivals to Cancun grew by 1.2% in February to 718,539, while international air arrivals to Puerto Vallarta grew by 2.8%, to 188,247 and grew by 4.1% to Los Cabos, to 158,674.
In the first two months of 2019 the volume of international air arrivals to Mexico grew by 0.9%, from 3,378,541 in 2018 to 3,410,546 in the first two months of this year. The volume of air arrivals from the USA fell by 0.5% in the same two months, to 1,679,333 while the volume from Canada grew by 7.6%, to 701,292. These two markets generated 69.8% of all international air arrivals in the first two months of 2019.
International air arrivals to Cancun fell by 0.5% in the first two months of 2019 to 1,420,722 while international air arrivals to Puerto Vallarta grew by 2.3%, to 383,887 and grew by 4.1% to Los Cabos, to 309,338.
The cruise industry will easily have over 500 vessels in service by 2027, up from some 404 this year, according to the 2019 Cruise Industry News Annual Report.
A record orderbook of more than 120 ships combined with a minimized withdrawal rate of one to two ships per year is guaranteeing that growth.
Add in the expected filling out of shipyard slots between 2023 and 2027, and the cruise industry could see upwards of 550 ships in service by 2027, and perhaps more if new yards continue to enter the business.
This growth rate has accelerated dramatically, as 220 ships were in service in 1998, according to Cruise Industry News data, and the industry’s annual market capacity was about a third of what it is in 2019.
Going by brands, MSC Cruises has the biggest growth plans of all with 14 ships on order, split between 10 megaships and four smaller, 1,000-guest luxury vessels as the company looks to dominate the high-end market.
Among the big industry players, giant Carnival Corporation has 20 ships on order from 2019, extending its own orderbook through 2024. Carnival has vessels on order for nine cruise brands, including its joint venture with China State Shipbuilding Corporation.
Royal Caribbean Cruises has an orderbook including 15 ships, including five for its Royal Caribbean International brand, four for Celebrity, five for Silversea and a trio of vessels for TUI Cruises. Deliveries extend through 2026.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’ growth plans have seven ships on order for the Norwegian brand, plus two for Regent and two for Oceania, totaling 11 ships on the orderbook. The Norwegian brand will get new Leonardo-class ship annually starting in 2022, with six ships spread out through 2027.
Other big growth plans include Torstein Hagen’s Viking Cruises brand, which will have some 18 ships in service by 2027, having launched ocean service with the Viking Star in 2015.
In 2018, the Dominican Republic saw a 6 percent growth in hotel rooms. The country added 4,365 total hotel rooms throughout various regions of the country resulting in a total of 80,256 overall hotel rooms. In addition to the flourishing additions, Dominican Republic’s hotel occupancy rate was an impressive 77 percent, a 0.5 percent increase from 2017.
The growth does not end there. ASONAHORES reported 65 projects are already approved for 2019 and Dominican Republic is slated to add 11 further new properties between 2019 and 2022.
Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ) continues to be the main point of entry into Dominican Republic with a record breaking 3,921,351 tourists received in 2018, an increase of more than 277,000 travelers compared to 2017. This growth is followed by Santo Domingo’s Las Americas Airport (SDQ) with 1,374,777; Santiago’s Cibao International Airport (STI) with 628,170 and Puerto Plata’s Gregorio Luperón International Airport (POP) following closely with 429,029.
This growth is due in large part to Dominican Republic’s open-sky policy, allowing for a large influx of flights as well as new nonstop routes to and from the United States.
Throughout 2018 Dominican Republic welcomed a total of 1,357,200 passengers via its four cruise ports, an increase of more than 157,000 compared to 2017. The Amber Cove cruise port in Puerto Plata continues to be the country’s main point of entry for cruise arrivals.
Diversification of Offerings.
Statistics show tourists are craving diversified experiences that span beyond beaches and showcase that multi-destination cultural travel is becoming more popular than in years past. Díaz detailed the diversity of travelers are evolving; in 2018, 80 percent of all tourist visits were to protected areas throughout Dominican Republic, proving that visitors are increasingly looking to explore beyond their hotel.
As part of MITUR’s commitment to supporting multi-destination travel and diversifying its segmentation, more than 8,000 kilometers of roads were created, renovated or expanded within the past four years. Now, all major tourist areas are connected and accessible within a 2-hour drive.
Jim Hepple is an Assistant Professor at the University of Aruba and is Managing Director of Tourism Analytics.