Hotel room stock rebuilds

Hotel rooms on Grand Cayman are not expected to be back to 75 per cent of pre-Ivan numbers until 10 months’ time.

Currently, 571 hotel rooms are fully operational for tourists, which accounts for 25 per cent of the 2,292 pre-Ivan hotel rooms.

Director of Tourism Pilar Bush told Fidelity’s Cayman Business Outlook conference last week that projections for re-opening of hotel rooms show that by April, 44 per cent of the pre-Ivan numbers would be back up and running, by June 59 per cent, and by November 75 per cent.

However, Ms Bush said that virtually all properties on the Sister Islands are operational – 34 licensed properties, including hotels, apartments and guesthouses.

Ms Bush commended The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, the Hyatt Regency and Marriott Resort for not taking the easy route and opening before they are ready.

The latter two hotels will come back with a superior product because they are addressing issues that already needed attention pre-Ivan, she said.

Ms Bush said there was a loss of $109.5 million for hotels and $172 million for condos/apartments/guest houses because of Hurricane Ivan.

Tourism accounts for 50 per cent of GDP, 27 per cent of employment and contributes more than $30 million to Government and statutory authorities.

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