Nevis Hotel Bookings Are Down, But Not Spirits
November 25, 2008
By Anna Gaskell
Observer Staff Writer
No one’s expecting a good year. Least of all the hotels.
Election year in the United States has kept many American tourists at home. The global economic recession has many people cutting back on their spending, including travel spending. To some people on Nevis, the closure of Four Seasons after Hurricane Omar feels like our very own economic recession.
And yet, despite admitting that this will be a slower season than average, many hotel owners are optimistic. The manager of Nevis’s Golden Rock Inn, Pam Barry, thinks that soon “people will get tired of hearing about the recession.”
Hoteliers also say that this slower time gives St. Kitts and Nevis a chance to sit back and re-evaluate. Tourism in the federation could come out stronger.
There are different predictions as to how many seasons will be affected; one, two, or even three. And how bad will it be? They just don’t know yet. Marty Lowell, one of the owners of Ottley’s in St. Kitts, said that when it came to predictions, he was “more likely to be right about predicting the next power cut in St. Kitts.”
Even the already confirmed bookings are not a decisive marker of how the season will go; every year bookings become more and more last minute. If the flights are there, people will keep coming, says Mrs. Barry of Golden Rock Hotel.
American Airlines stopped coming to Nevis this year, and XL Airways terminated their London-St. Kitts charter. But flights to the federation have actually increased, according to John Yearwood of Nevis’s Oualie Beach Hotel. British Airways decided it would be a good business move to take up where XL Airways left off, beginning the first ever scheduled flights from London to St. Kitts in January.